EAAG launches The Givers Lounge with special focus on Education

THE GIVERS’ LOUNGE
“Beyond the Debates: Sustaining Philanthropy in the Kenyan Education Sector”
In 2003 the government established an education policy to improve access to education through the free primary and later on secondary education programme. However, the vision has faced constraints in mobilizing additional public and private resources to meet the high cost of expanding access to quality secondary school education. Resource constraints are compounded by inequalities in participation across regions, social class and gender. Any attempt, therefore, to expand access to secondary school education should take into account the existing disparities within the society, failure to which such effort will propagate social economic inequalities.
In addressing these gaps various private foundations and other charitable organizations have been forced to tilt their giving in favor of education by prioritizing scholarships for secondary schools. However, even as philanthropy becomes a significant sector in the promotion of education in Kenya there are insufficient platforms to coordinate efforts among funders. Cases of duplication, omission and misplaced priorities in relation to criteria of selection have had a negative impact on the benefit and sustainability of such projects.
In order to improve the value in this sector of philanthropy in Kenya, EAAG invites stakeholders in philanthropy for education to an open forum on the efficacy of Secondary School Sponsorship Criteria Systems in Kenya. Do we need to readjust the selection criteria to meet realities on the ground- Deteriorating quality of education in public schools? Do we still fund children from poor backgrounds who fail to meet our set minimum performance targets? Is the time ripe to begin offering scholarships to children from poor families to attend good private schools? What are the alternative mechanisms of addressing the education inequalities that go beyond bursaries- investing in infrastructure? Can grantors have a coordinated selection processes?

Objectives;
• To share experiences on the challenges faced by education grantors in selecting beneficiaries.
• To assess the efficacy of the current Secondary School Sponsorship criteria in Kenya in view of the current debate on Public Vs Private schools vis avis performance and quality.
• To discuss a way forward on establishing a mechanism that will ensure grantors in the education sector are well coordinated.

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