NAIROBI (Xinhua) --
Kenya marked the International Children’s Day on
Tuesday and reaffirmed commitment to boost access to education
and social safety for children.
cabinet secretary of the Education Ministry, said that robust
policies are in place to promote universal school enrollment
“We have already
unveiled requisite measures to ensure every child has access to
compulsory basic education,” said Mohamed.
The theme of this
year’s International Children’s Day called upon governments to
ensure that all children could receive education and protection,
and unlock their full potential.
Mohamed said Kenya
has made targeted investments to ensure that empowerment of
children is realized through life-long learning and access to
critical services like health, shelter and proper nutrition.
“The government is
paying particular attention to early childhood education to
ensure it meets the physical and emotional needs of young ones.
The ongoing curriculum reforms are geared towards boosting soft
skills and cognitive abilities of children,” said Mohamed.
She noted that Kenya
is on the verge of achieving universal primary school enrollment
thanks to abolition of tuition fees and other incentives such as
free meals and text books for young learners.
The enactment of the
country’s children’s act has strengthened protection of children
against physical and emotional abuse from their parents,
teachers and other caregivers, she added.
“Besides enacting a
strong legislative framework, the government has partnered with
key stakeholders to raise awareness on threats to child survival
including sexual abuse, harmful cultural practices like early
marriages and female genital cut as well as conscription into
criminal gangs,” said Mohamed.
The United Nations
Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) said
in the 2019 Global Education Monitoring Report released on
Tuesday that refugee school-age children in Africa are facing
numerous challenges to access education.
UNESCO assistant director-general for education, said children’s
right to receive education should be protected no matter where
they are from, where they live and what legal paperwork they
carry with them.
“Half of the world’s
forcibly displaced people are under the age 18. Many may not see
the inside of a classroom for years, however, those who are
lucky to be going to school are learning under very dire
circumstances,” Giannini said.
According to the
2019 Global Education Monitoring Report, there is a severe
shortage of teachers while many in displacement settings lack
any formal training, with overcrowded classrooms and linguistic
differences adding to the pressure.
The Africa Report on
Internal Displacement last year revealed that over 12.6 million
people in the continent have been displaced by conflict,
violence or disasters, with at least 37 out of 55 member states
of the African Union facing the risk of failing to meet national
and regional development goals unless the issue of internal
displacement is addressed.
refugee children undergo, Mohamed said, education provides the
displaced and migrants with a protective and stable environment,
and is also the best way of building resilience as well as
providing opportunities for identifying and enhancing the
skills, values and attitudes needed to facilitate their
integration into the host community and their eventual
re-integration back to their countries.
education to deliver these benefits, governments and other
partners must work collaboratively to put in place long-term
plans and investments that are informed by high-quality, timely
and reliable data,” she said.