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UK announces major support for Education in Kenya

17 January 2006 - The UK Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn, today announced that the UK would be providing a £55m grant to support implementation of the Ministry of Education’s five year plan, the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (2005-2010).

The support will contribute to the implementation of all 23 investment programmes in the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP)and will fully fund the scaling up of the highly successful Primary School Action for Better Health (PSABH) programme to reach all schools. Communities and children will continue to benefit from funds transferred directly to school accounts for the purchase of textbooks and learning materials.

Additional funds will be made available for whole school development including rehabilitation and construction of classrooms, as well as water and sanitation facilities. It is anticipated that by 2010 there will be around 11,880 refurbished and/or new classrooms, and more education materials provided to each one of the 18,500 primary schools in Kenya. As the KESSP is a sector wide plan, all sectors within education will be supported. In addition to ongoing support to the primary sector, funds will enable the development of strategies for the expansion of secondary education and reform of the university sector.

The UK has contributed £35m to the education sector in the past five years through the Strengthening Primary Education Programme. Our support has assisted the Ministry of Education to help children get into and stay in school through the development of a simplified and cheaper primary curriculum; the provision of textbooks and learning materials in all schools; training for all primary teachers which has improved lesson planning, classroom practice and enjoyment of lessons by students; implementation of a successful large scale HIV/AIDS prevention programme in primary schools and strengthening monitoring and evaluation systems.

In making the announcement during a visit to Barchando Primary School in Bondo district, Hilary Benn said:

“The Government of Kenya has made real progress since the launch of its Free Primary Education policy just three years ago. The KESSP package of investment programmes will enable more children to get into and to stay in school, particularly the poorest. However, there are challenges ahead. Some three quarters of a million children remain out of school, mostly those in arid and semi arid areas and the urban slums. Many are girls, those affected by HIV/AIDS and working children.

"DFID’s contribution and our collective commitment, is to ensure through KESSP, that all children can access their right to basic education and that quality education and training for all Kenyans is achieved.”

The scaling up of DFID’s support to education in Kenya and the provision of longer term predictable financing reflects our confidence in the strong national leadership and commitment to the sector; the success of the Free Primary Education policy and existing large scale programmes; and the preparation of good strategies and plans for the development of education and achievement of the MDGs. The DFID grant funding will be pooled with other Development Partners contributions and Government of Kenya funds in a special KESSP Account. Eligible items of expenditure will be reimbursed following submission of regular financial monitoring reports. In agreement with Government of Kenya, progress will be jointly reviewed by Government of Kenya, Ministry of Education and Development Partners at an Annual Joint Review of the Education Sector and Annual Budget and Workplan Meeting.


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