Report shows worrying learning trend in schools

Children in public schools are not learning as they should, a study has revealed.

In its sixth year of assessing basic literacy and numeracy skills, Uwezo Kenya reveals that on average, only 30 out of 100 class three pupils can do class two work, while eight out of 100 pupils in class eight cannot.

The study results which were released today in Nairobi observe that teacher-distribution is important as they are critical to learning.

For this, the findings indicate that low pupil-to-teacher ratios have a strong effect on learning.

“The teacher:classroom (stream) ratio is low. On average, there were 12 teachers for every school with 10 classrooms.

“This ratio declines, when only TSC teachers are accounted for, to 11 TSC teachers for every school with 10 classrooms,” it says.

The study adds that counties with the best teacher (TSC teachers) to classroom ratio (12 teachers for 10 classrooms) are Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Embu, Nakuru, Nairobi, Kisii and Baringo while counties with the worst teacher to classroom ratio (6 teachers for 10 classrooms) are Mandera and Garissa.

On average, the study notes that 12 out of 100 teachers were absent from school on the day of the visit and this was worse than was reported in 2014 where there were nine out of 100 teachers absent on the day of the visit.

On childhood education, the report dubbed “Are Our Children Learning?” notes that only four out of 10 pre-primary teachers are trained while three out of 10 children are in primary school at the wrong age with 13 per cent being aged 2-3 years while 21 per cent being aged six or over.

“Half of pre-primary teachers, 46 per cent, are hired by county governments despite the lack of a clear policy on who is responsible for hiring them,” the study adds.

The study was done between October and November, 2015, and over 130,000 children, aged six to 16, from all 47 counties were tested and the data was collected from more than 4,500 schools and 69,000 households.

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