In an attempt to increase quality education in Kenya, 90,000 teachers are set to be trained. Instructors are required to participate in a government-sponsored program that will boost learning in primary schools, according to the Global Partnership for Education (GPE).

Over the years, more and more students have had increased access to education in Kenya. As a result, the adult literacy rate is almost 80 percent whereas the regional average is 61 percent. There are still some hurdles to cross, however, as many students who attend school do not have basic reading skills upon completion. A large amount of data indicates that teacher quality contributes significantly to the learning of students, according to a report by the World Bank. It is for this reason that having trained teachers is just as important as access to education.

Around 30 percent of teachers in Kenya are untrained. The number continues to rise as the number of students attending schools increases. Fortunately, efforts are being made to ensure that teachers are well-qualified to suit the needs of their students. USAID has partnered with Kenya’s Ministry of Education (MOE) to improve education in the country. USAID and MOE are working to enhance the capabilities of the teachers and improve the reading skills of the students.

GPE and the World Bank are allocating funds to Kenya so that they are better able to train teachers and provide students with school supplies. The two organizations are granting roughly $85.5 million for the training of 90,000 teachers and $9.7 million of the grant is to be used for the distribution of math books to students. The distribution of math books helps to make school more engaging for the students. The books are colorful and attractive in nature, making them appealing to young students.

Anne Irungu, a teacher in Kenya, marvels at how much just having a textbook has changed her classroom, “…sometimes one book was shared between two or more pupils. Since they could not all move at the same pace, you would find them fighting over the book, and the books would get worn out,” she said. “Now that each pupil has his or her own book, they sit comfortably, they work comfortably, and there is no conflict.”

Having well-trained teachers is beneficial to everyone. Teachers would have access to more earnings because of their training and children would receive a quality education which would, in turn, increase their own earnings later in life and reduce economic inequality.

These factors have the potential to reduce poverty in Kenya. With grants and training, the necessary improvements for education in Kenya can be made which may potentially lead to long-lasting changes for the future.

– Dezanii Lewis

Photo: Flickr

Nearly 143,000 people have signed a petition to have the UK divert some of the international development budget to assist British families affected by serious floods that have hit part of the region. The petition states, “I strongly urge you to divert some of the 11 billion pounds spent per year on overseas aid to ease the suffering of UK flood victims, and to build and maintain flood defenses to prevent a repetition of this crisis.”

The petition started by the Daily Mail quickly caught the attention of high profile celebrities and community leaders. David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, rejected the petition saying that “money is no object” when it comes to the flood victims. A poll, also administered by the Daily Mail, found that 73% of people polled think that overseas aid should be redirected.

Global poverty experts around the world immediately voiced their outrage at the campaign, calling it ‘outrageous.’ The campaign was also called irresponsible and some accused them of misrepresenting the issue and politicizing poverty. Etharin Cousin, the executive director of the World Food Programme said that the campaign was an example of an, “anti-aid agenda is an extremely worrying minority view.”

Many experts took issue with the characterization the campaign used making it seem like in order for citizens in the UK to get aid, international aid should be cut instead of extending help to both.

They also remained hopeful that this is just an example of a fringe view that does not represent the majority of the population. Justin Byworth, chief executive of the World Vision, called the Daily Mail’s actions ‘inexcusable’ and that, “The reality is we live on a small planet…Food security in one part of the world means security in another part.

We are hopeful that the government will recognize the need to support both populations.”

Colleen Eckvahl

Sources: Huffington Post, Daily Mail
Photo: This Is Money