“We would like our girls to go to school and learn; obtain an education and in future be able to be self-reliant. This is the surest way of securing their future”
There are 207 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers, 129 primary schools, 16 Secondary schools and four youth polytechnics in the county. There are however no commercial or public colleges and universities in the county. The proportion of primary schools that are situated within a radius of less than one kilometer from the community is 79 per cent, less than five kilometer is 7.7 per cent while more than five kilometers is 84.4 per cent. This implies than majority of schools are located at distances that are more than five kilometers from home, posing a challenge in terms of accessibility.
During drought, a significant number of children drop out of school because there is no food and water. Some must accompany their mobile herding parents in search of pasture and water for livestock. Our interventions in provision of meals in some schools, text books and reading materials, construction of classrooms and masonry water storage tanks plus supply of energy saving stoves has resulted in significant changes in targeted schools. This is beginning to have an impact on learning outcomes, particularly in reading, writing and numeracy skills.
Summary of 2018 education achievements
Despite many hardships, parents were more willing to send their children and keep them in school. However, infrastructural challenges as well as harmful practices such as early marriages and female genital mutilation continued to hamper girls’ education in 2018. Students were able to access spacious and clean classrooms and pupils from poor nomadic households that could not afford to pay school fees received subsidies for three terms through fees-for-food programmes. 600 pupils received bedding facilities to keep them safe from harmful parasites and have comfortable sleep.
Six schools received food and nutrition assistance during the peak of the dry season in efforts to boost learning and good health. They included Kalacha Nomadic Girls’ Primary, Helmer Girls’ Primary, Ririba Girls’ Primary, Dukana Girls’ Primary, Hawecha Girls’ Primary, and Anona Mixed Primary School. Our interventions provided safer and child-friendly learning spaces increasing enrollment , retention and transition of the nomadic pastoral children’s education.
Provision of text books and pens, rulers and school bags reduced the gap in access to adequate learning facilities, therefore improving performance at school. More than 1,300 pupils benefited from the project. Equipping schools with learning materials ensured that the learning conditions were conducive and the experience worthwhile giving learners the opportunity to nourish their minds.
The school lighting project positively impacted on learning environment, giving learners confidence and ample time to study and improve their performance. Well lit compounds and dormitories minimized exposure to risks of being bitten by scorpions which crawl during the night. Under climate change adaptation, PACIDA strengthened environmental clubs at Illeret, Telesgaye, Baqaqa and Hurri Hills primary schools.
Read more about PACIDA’s education achievement from our 2018 annual report: