Kenya Prioritises Science, Technology Education

The ongoing conflict in South Sudan is sharply reducing food supplies and slowing humanitarian access to people in need, illness cheapest the United Nations children’s agency (UNICEF) said Wednesday night, check malady urging warring groups in the country to follow up quickly on the ceasefire deal agreed on Monday.

Without such commitment, search see the country’s conflict areas face potentially catastrophic food shortages, UNICEF warned, pointing to the latest Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) group of experts’ report, which is released this week, and to its own latest nutrition survey, which supports the IPC’s findings.

“UNICEF needs access to remote areas made inaccessible because of the fighting,” the agency’s Representative in South Sudan, Jonathan Veitch, said. “This is where the crisis is forming. Both parties to the ceasefire need to reach a long-term settlement or face a growing food crisis by the end of the dry and lean season.”

Mr. Veitch said UNICEF and its partners are starting to see large numbers of people on the move in conflict areas because of food shortages.

At least 229,000 children are estimated to be suffering from severe acute malnutrition in South Sudan – a number that has doubled since the start of the conflict just over a year ago.

“We remain on edge, and any increase in violence will see supply routes cut, markets disrupted and humanitarian access denied. This would be catastrophic for acutely malnourished children and could quickly lead to high levels of mortality.”

The two warring factions to the South Sudan conflict on Sunday morning signed a peace agreement witnessed.

The new peace deal immediately ends any further bloodshed and all forms of hostility between the infighting groups.


Under the new peace pact, the warring factions agreed to  adjourn  further talks until February 19  when the negotiations resume ahead of the final and comprehensive peace pact on March 5.

Any side which violates the new peace deal will face unspecified penalties from the African Union and the United Nations Security Council, warned Chief Mediator, Ambassador Seuym Mesfen from Ethiopia.

Poor nutrition

Working with the World Food Programme (WFP), UNICEF continues to step up aid for malnourished children across South Sudan. UNICEF and partners provided therapeutic feeding treatment for almost 100,000 severely malnourished in 2014 and are aiming to reach 137,000 children under five suffering from severe acute malnutrition in 2015.

UNICEF and WFP are also flying in expert teams to remote locations that are cut off from humanitarian aid, in what is called Rapid Response Missions. During these missions, UNICEF screens children for malnutrition and refers and treats those who are moderately and severely malnourished.

Staff will also register unaccompanied children in order to reunify them with their families, provide basic health and education services, and deliver supplies to provide safe water. More than 600,000 people, including over 142,000 children under the age of five, have been reached through 37 missions to date.

UNICEF is urgently appealing for additional funding of $34 million to continue to boost its nutrition response in South Sudan in 2015.

Eye for an eye

The Chief negotiator last weekend expressed confidence that the two principals will end the conflict immediately adding that the old age biblical teaching of revenge and killing political rivals was no longer tenable.

“An eye to an eye makes the world blind. There is no need for firing (shooting) at the other party who is likely to respond in kind”, said Ambassador Mesfen.

President Kenyatta said the IGAD leaders have been seeking peace for South Sudan for a long time and expressed hope the new deal will hold.

“The people in the region and the whole world are hopeful for peace in South Sudan. The principals should commit themselves to peace until a final agreement is reached”, said President Kenyatta.

He added; “This is what the people of South Sudan are hopeful for and are confident peace will be restored”. He thanked the International community for overseeing the peace process.

It is hoped that the final and comprehensive peace agreement will include details about the proposed Transitional Government of National Unity and comprehensive political reforms to facilitate General Elections scheduled for June, this year.

It is also anticipated the final peace agreement will address itself to the overhaul of the current security arrangement leading to a harmonized security team drawn from the two sides in the conflict.

The final agreement will also address itself on how the humanitarian crisis obtaining in South Sudan will be addressed.
By Jibril Adan and Kobia Mwirichia

Kenya President Uhuru Kenyatta has affirmed the Government’s determination to sustain the trend of investing heavily in the education sector.

The President said the Jubilee Government has set the record of investing more resources than any other administration in efforts to radically transform teaching and learning in Kenya.

“As much as possible, buy our desire is to exceed the expectations set by various regional, pan-African and global frameworks, including the Millennium Development Goals,” said the President.

President Kenyatta spoke when he opened the 8th Education International (EI) Africa Regional Conference at Kenyatta International Convention Center (KICC).

He said Kenya’s ambition to become a globally competitive and prosperous nation is accompanied by a commitment to maintain its position as a hub for education, with an emphasis on science and technology.

“Our emphasis is premised on the understanding that integration and globalization are essentially technology-driven,” he said.

The President said the Government is focused on introducing learners to ICT at the earliest opportunity in order to develop and maintain a competitive edge.

“The destiny of our youth rests in the skills and values education imparts on them. This is why there is a solid Africa-wide consensus that education must remain largely a public good,” he said.

The President said modern education goals aspire to proceed beyond mere literacy and that was why the Government is committed to investing more resources on ICT.

The Head of State also called on teachers to be patient as the Government balances the requirements of the education sector.

He said teachers’ pay was one variable against several others which needed constant attention.

The President urged teachers to be patient because great strides have been made over recent years in improving remuneration for teachers.

He noted that Kenyans take pride in the fact that the education sector has been getting the biggest chunk of resources since independence despite the economic challenges.

“One of the commitments we made was to introduce technology to schools. There are challenges but that has not deterred us and we will deliver on those commitments,” he said.

The President said the Government will make sure every school in the country is connected to electricity by the end of the current financial year.

The conference is organized by Education International which has a membership of 348 institutions representing more the 30 million individual institutions.

Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero, Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion and the secretary general of Education International Fred Van Leeuwan spoke at the function.

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