East Africa struggles to provide quality education and infrastructure as indicated by student-to-teacher ratios, primary completion rates, secondary enrollment, and youth literacy rates. The student to teacher ratios have increased in sub-Saharan Africa due to mandatory enrollment, this has caused a staggering student teacher ratio of 72:1. In order to reach the goal of universal primary education, Eastern Africa alone requires four million new primary school teachers. This region has high initial enrollment rates (>90%), however, 30-40% of students leave before completing their primary schooling. In 2007 only 25% of students went on to high school due to the expenses associated with continuing education.
There are many factors that contribute to the current situation. Classrooms are crowded and dilapidated. Teachers have insufficient teaching resources and time for personalized instruction. These struggles reflect the well-below average standard of educational institutions in more developed countries. In addition to the overcrowding and poor state of facilities, advanced learning opportunities are impeded by insufficient or nonexistent math and science materials. There’s also a concerning level of sexual violence and inadequate sanitation for female students. This directly and disproportionally affects their self esteem and ultimately participation and retention in the educational programs.