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Human beings and specifically in African societies value children for they determine the communities’ future and place them at the center of their family life. Over the decades, governments have recognized the importance of children in their development efforts and have devoted considerable resources to child development especially in education and health. In Kenya, Free Primary Education (FPE) led to a significant increase in primary school enrolment. Among the children who were enrolled in school were Street children but many more children are once again on the streets. Such children end up roaming the streets, deficient in adult supervision, and engage in activities majorly to themselves and society. The major objective of the study on which this paper is based was to determine the learning needs of street children in Kenya. A survey research design was adopted for the study. The study was conducted in Nairobi County targeting 320 street children living in the streets and those found in rehabilitation centers. A total of 33 street children and 20 in rehabilitation centers were sampled and studied. It was established that quality accelerated education delivered through a relevant curriculum would enable such children to lead a decent life and contribute to national development. An appropriate curriculum was recommended for this special category of learners.
Abel was 6 yrs old when his mother died, leaving him and his 5 sisters to work as a shepherd and housemaids. Their father is in jail serving a 40 yr sentence for robbery. CRK found Abel a foster family and he started school. Jakob and his brother ran to the streets because their alcoholic mother could not look after them. Jakob was found a foster family when he graduated from secondary school. Both boys did well at KCSE and have places at university, but the associated costs are high.
Abel is now in his second year at Egerton University studying a BSc in Agricultural Economics. Jacob was recently accepted to Meru University to do Computer Security and Forensics. In addition to their course fees, which can be met with governmental loans, accommodation and related costs add up to more than 25,000 KSH (($250) a semester. To be able to meet the requirements of university studies, they also require resources such as a laptop.
Away from marginal lives on the streets, children develop into caring adults with the life and academic skills required to break the cycle of abject poverty and positively contribute to their society. They can be voices for a new generation of children, seeking change and demanding justice. Children supported by CRK now attend prestigious schools and universities, some have graduated to viable futures as nurses, laboratory technicians, mechanics, hairdressers, electricians, and carpenters.