Education is a right, not a privilege. Sadly, these words don’t ring true to everyone. Ask George Ann Mmbale, a 15 year old student from Nairobi.
“I am the fourth born in a family of eight; three boys and five girls. We live with our aunt’s four children that my mother took under her care when her sister passed away in 2003. My mother is also looking after her four grandchildren. My father died in 2004 when I was seven years and in primary school in standard 3. Since then, my mother has been struggling to feed, clothe and educate us. When I sat for my Standard 8 examinations and passed, I had already resigned myself to the fact that I was not going to join secondary school. My dream of becoming a doctor in future was just to be that, a dream. But this dream is slowly becoming a reality with the provision of a scholarship by APHRC. Now I am sure I will finish my secondary school education, join the university and realize my dream.”
Completing primary schooling and transitioning to secondary has had several challenges:
(i) APHRC research shows that transition to secondary education is 58.6% among pupils in marginalized areas, particularly in informal settlements, compared to those in non-marginalized areas where transitions are at 87.5%;
(ii) With the introduction of free primary education programme in 2003, there has been a sharp increase in enrolment. However, these enrolment rates have not translated into significant change in transition to secondary schools. Though secondary school is subsidized to the equivalent of a day secondary school (about USD 125), gross enrolment rate is still low (below 50%).
It is, therefore, critical that new strategies be put in place to improve transition to secondary, particularly among the poor. Jubilee Education Fund (JEF) offers one of the practical ways of tackling this challenge.
How does the Jubilee Education Fund (JEF) work?
- JEF targets to support needy bright children
- A selection committee comprising of community leaders, relevant Community Based Organizations, education officials and APHRC staff identifies needy children
- Target beneficiaries are required to have received admission letters to public secondary schools.
- Continued support to the child is provided on condition that he/she maintains good academic standing (average of 50% and above) and of good behavior. The committee continually liaises with head teachers and parents or guardians in monitoring the child’s progress
- All supports/ sponsors are kept informed of the child’s progress on a regular basis
- Currently, each education scholarship is estimated to be worth at least USD $ 2,300
- The scholarship is expected to cover school fees and associated costs for the four (4) years of secondary school education program in Kenya.