Investigation of access to free primary education by orphaned children in an urban setting: (a case study of Makadara division)
Ruchugo, Diana k
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The number of orphans is increasing; currently it is estimated that 14 million children aged below 15 years have lost one or both their parents and this number is expected to swell to 25 million by the year 2010, as more people get infected with HIV /Aids. About two thirds of children orphaned by HN are infected with the virus. The majority of these children are in sub-Saharan Africa, Many of these children are being cared for by a parent or guardian who is sick, elderly grandparents who themselves often need care and support or improvised relatives struggling to meet their own children's need. The growing numbers of orphans is straining these traditional coping mechanisms and comprehensive care and support must be scaled up to address this situation. Such interventions will include access to health care, socio-economic strengthening, human rights and legal protection and psycho social support. It is however not known if these interventions are accessible challenges the orphaned children face in Kenya . This study sought to establish if there is access to free primary education by the orphans. It also examined the policy areas, that is-the current laws and practices that address education of orphans. The study used survey research methodology using triangulation of both quantitative and qualitative data, a sample of 300 orphans and purposive sampling method. The study found that in deed orphans and other vulnerable children do attend school especially with the introduction of free primary education, although they lack some amenities to facilitate smooth learning. Some of the recommendations from this study include mobilizing and supporting community based responses, OoK should develop the FPE policy and promote partnership to ensure sustainable implementation of FPE. However there is need for further research on how OoK can ensure equity and access to all orphaned children in terms of education and development of a community based information systems that can be used to identify orphans and increase their enrollment to schools.