I just got back from my second trip to Dadaab. This one was to gather information about the schools in Ifo 2 East and Ifor 2 West camps (the two camps run by Kenya Red Cross).
The statistics are pretty grim. In all of Dadaab, the attendance rate for primary school is just 40%, while in secondary school it barely reaches 10%. To place these numbers in context, enrollment in primary school for all of Kenya is 117% (note this number can be above 100% if students outside the enrollment age are also attending). For secondary schools, the number is 40%. Thus we can see that in Dadaab, there is a serious, troubling lack of educational infrastructure and participation.
In Ifo 2 East and Ifo 2 West (which are two physically separate camps) there is only one secondary school. This school has 115 boys and 25 girls enrolled. This means that only 1% of girls ages14-17 are enrolled in secondary school, with 4% of boys of the same age. This tells us that Ifo 2 East and Ifo 2 West fall behind even the averages of Dadaab, which are already so poor.
With student teacher ratios in primary school averaging 90:1, and no textbooks or reading books to be had, it is actually remarkable that some students do manage to make it out of the camp to secondary schools in other parts of Kenya. Most that were even allowed to attend school briefly drop out, either by coercion from their parents or from loss of hope.
These grim findings have strengthened our resolve to set up libraries in these two camps. Dadaab is being forgotten by the international community, and there is so little hope for the refugees that live there.