REPORT: Do Our Children in Kenya Have Life Skills and Values?

By ALiVE team, Values and Life Skills Thematic Group

The Assessment of Life Skills and Values in East Africa (ALiVE) team recently released its Do our children in Kenya have Life Skills and Values? report which shares findings about Kenyan adolescents’ proficiency in four key life skills: problem solving, self-awareness, collaboration and respect. The research team assessed a total of 17,276 adolescents, aged 13-17 years old from 14,197 households. The assessment demonstrated that most Kenyan adolescents are lagging in their attainment of these competencies. For instance, adolescents can identify a problem, but most are only able to identify a single solution to a problem, even when they are asked for several. The report offers six key findings:

  1. Only five percent of the adolescents are proficient in problem solving (Level 4)
  2. Overall, only nine percent of the adolescents are proficient in self-awareness (Level 3)
  3. Only six percent of the adolescents express high respect for others
  4. Overall, only one in ten of the adolescents are proficient in collaboration
  5. About 43 percent of the adolescents (42% males and 44% females) can read a grade 4 text
  6. Half of the adolescents have the skills to access the internet with ease

In part this low level of attainment of foundational life skills is the result of a situation in which many teachers and parents lack an understanding of the importance of these competencies and therefore neither make it a learning priority in the classroom nor at home.

These findings demonstrate that the ALiVE team has developed a valid and reliable tool for assessing problem solving, collaboration, self-awareness and respect proficiencies of in and out of the school adolescents in Kenya. They also illustrate the necessity of RELI’s ongoing commitment to supporting families, teachers and schools in creating the environments needed to develop life skills and nurture values for children across East Africa in school and at home.

You can read the full summary of the report below.

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