UNGEI - Kenya - Kenyan schools struggle to cope with influx of children displaced by dr... - 0 views
GARISSA, Kenya, 12 September 2011 – Dekha Mohamed Noor, 15, has not seen her family for more than a month. At the end of July, after schools closed for the August holidays, they sent her to live with a relative in Garissa, a bustling commercial hub 165 km west of her home village, Modogashe. The drought in north-eastern Kenya and much of the Horn of Africa had decimated their livestock, throwing the family into a desperate scramble for survival.
This week, with schools across Kenya reopening for the new term, Dekha joins thousands of other children from drought-affected areas who will not be returning to their former schools because they have migrated to other, better-off districts.
These new arrivals are placing enormous strains on local resources in host communities. Abdinoor Hussein, head teacher at Dekha’s new school in Garissa, Yathrib Primary School, says class sizes have ballooned from 50 to an average of 92 pupils, and the school’s 10 teachers are having a hard time coping with the surge
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“When I came to this school last year, we had 560 students. But now, there are more than 1,400,” says Mr. Hussein. “Most of the new arrivals are coming from rural communities, where they have been forced out by the drought. They have lost all their livestock, everything, and we cannot just turn them away.”