A group of journalists from Coast region with the help of social workers have initiated a program aimed at improving education standards in the region.
Program Director of Journalists On The Move (JOM), James Katana said the program main objective is to sensitize on the importance of improving literacy level in the region through basic reading and writing skills among school children.
The program also aims at equipping pupils with journalistic skills to help them write feature stories that will benefit them and the society at large.
“We as journalists are respected members of the society and we have an obligation to give back and that is why we saw this as a better way to help the kids gain literacy skills and also come up with stories that they can sell to media houses so as to earn a living,” Added Mr. Katana.
The initiative which targets class 4 to 7 pupils , began its first pilot phase in 2013 in Kilifi County and ended very successfully at the end of the first term this year.
Katana says the program has been extended to other counties, starting with Kwale County in December.
“This December will have 10 schools in Kwale and Kilifi, where the program will kick off; we started in these two counties because they are the most affected in terms of school drop outs,” said Mr. Katana who is also the pioneer of the project.
PLAN international, an NGO that works with different communities in the world to alleviate child poverty has been the main sponsor of the project, according to Mr Katana.
Plan International has already placed the project under one of their major programs in the region “Tulinde Tusome”, a program that aims to give the child a safe education environment.
“It’s a unique idea and the fact that I like community work, it’s is an opportunity for me to give back by nurturing young talents,” said Michael Mkala, one of the journalists involved in the project.
Statistics show that education and levels and standards at the Coast have been dwindling year after year compared to other regions in the country.