Education is acknowledged as the “the great equalizer”. However, inequalities facing both institutions and individuals continue to prevent this ideal from being realized in Kenya. For instance, schools in low-income areas tend to receive lower resource allocations, face greater challenges in raising funds, cannot attract and retain qualified teachers and are less engaged with the parents. As a result, they do not adequately address the needs of their student body.
Economic inequality has a direct impact on education. Currently, 74.9% of students from the richest part of the population are enrolled for secondary education compared to only 19.8% from the poorest part. Similarly, the level of development in an area has a direct effect on the level of education enjoyed by the residents. Data from the Development Policy Management Forum reveals that enrollment rates are higher in regions with better infrastructure such as Central and Nairobi Provinces compared to the Coast, Northern and Upper Eastern provinces.
The Kenya Demographic Health survey of 2008-2009 determined that one out of very two (59.5%) secondary school students in rural areas do not finish their education compared to one out of every five in urban areas (21.2%). The ratio of boys compared to girls joining secondary is 2:1. If we combine this with the inequalities between rural and urban areas, the figures reveal that children from poor parents in rural areas and particularly girls have virtually been condemned to an inferior education. As a result, they are sentenced to a life of continued poverty because their prospects of earning a sustainable livelihood are very low.
Every year, The Family Group Foundation supports 100 bright but needy students who pass their KCPE examination into the scholarship program. To date, 428 scholarships have been awarded to bright but needy students.
Formerly known as the Family Bank Scholarship Fund, the program has supported 428 pupils since 2012. The Family Group Foundation Scholarship Fund intends to continue transforming lives of bright students from poor families by steadily increasing the opportunities for young students to join secondary school.
Helping bright and needy students from poor families to join secondary school is our way of transforming families’ lives by reducing poverty. But that is only half the battle; the other half is ensuring successful completion. Once enrolled, the foundation staff and corporate group mentors track the progress and academic performance of our students to ensure successful completion of secondary school.