ALARM OVER LOW ADULT LITERACY LEVELS
Adult Literacy levels in Kajiado County continue to plummet raising fears among County education officials and stakeholders in the sector.
Over the years, adult education has received a wide berth a situation that has forced out of school youth to shun learning altogether and opt for menial jobs to make a living. Early marriages of young girls who lack school fees has been the norm as they also opt to settle as homemakers at the expense of pursing education opportunities into their adulthood.
A meeting between religious leaders from different denominations together with county and education officials was held in Kajiado today to map out ways of empowering out of school youth and adults through education and skills training opportunities.
Kajiado County Governor Joseph Ole Lenku who met the religious leaders said improving literacy levels of the people of Kajiado was in the scope of his government’s agenda. He expressed his optimism with the partnership between the county government, religious institutions and other education stakeholders in achieving this within the next four years.
He implored upon the religious leaders to commit their existing infrastructure to be used for adult learning.
“Due to limited County resources I urge you to use your churches and mosques with large halls to advance adult education due to strained resources,” he said.
During the meeting County Committees to oversee adult education were formed and it is hoped that these will be replicated at sub county level to reach the most remote parts of Kajiado.
On his part Education and vocational training Executive Member, Samuel Seki agreed that literacy levels in Kajiado was low especially in the remote areas of the County.
“It is a fact that the County has strained resources and needs all the help it can get from religious organizations and other stakeholders to achieve its goals,” he said.
Seki requested religious leaders to be proactive in this endeavor to utilize their infrastructure to help the County Government achieve its goal of eradicating illiteracy in Kajiado.
Joseph Agina, secretary to Olkejuado Adult and Continued Education said the initiative taken by the County Government and religious leaders to focus on adult literacy is timely in steering the big four agenda for the common good of the nation.
He added that if tapped, the clergy have a good platform to reach people of all levels of the society since they were their congregants.
Agina intimated that according to a 2006 Kenya National literacy survey of 48% of Kajiado residents consisting of 280,000 people were illiterate. This is against a backdrop of 78% national illiteracy index consisting of 7.5M people.“We need to have literacy levels of this group enhanced to achieve economic development,” he remarked.
Speakers at the meeting also proposed to the concerned ministry to engage the Kenya Literature Bureau to come up with a Maa Literature and curriculum to cater for adult learner in a language familiar to them.