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Friday, 2 December 2011

Education still a mirage for the rural poor!

By Mbuthi Jeremiah

Despite having free and compulsory primary and subsidized secondary education, students from Sipili still drop out of school due to many challenges.

The young boys found the room packed, they sat pretty on the floor to read.
They include poverty, lack of mentorship, early pregnancies, HIV/AIDS, drugs and substance abuse and domestic conflicts.

Most pupils at primary level especially those who come from poor or venerable families drop out of school due to lack of finances to cater for the various academic needs.

The young pupils and students leave school to look for jobs that will earn them some cash to enable them support their families. Girls are mostly employed as housemaids while many boys seek jobs as herders or shamba boys.

Although some pupils perform well above averagely in national examinations, they lack people who can sponsor their high school education with the only support offered by the few philanthropic people in the society going to the bright students.

The hindrance for many students who wish to join universities is mainly lack of fees and negative attitude towards higher education among a big numbers of high school students. They claim it is costly and that to be a government sponsored student one has to get high grades, which they have doubts they can manage.

The idleness that comes as a result of failure to enroll in any tertiary institution makes many of them discouraged, with the frustrations leading a good number of them to drug abuse.

Like other students from other parts of the republic, most students in Ol-moran are either infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. Large amount of money that could have been used to cater for their education is being used in health care.

Orphans are left to guardians who in most cases are only able to offer material support while leaving the orphans with a great deficit as far as moral support is concerned. This makes them feel lonely and despised. They end up finding their own companions and happiness is drugs for boys while girls end up in early marriages and unwanted pregnancies.
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