Policy Brief: Volume 10, Issue 8, 2004, The Sociology of Private Tuition. Indeje Wanyama and Enos H.N. Njeru.

NTHIA PROFNJERUEH. "Policy Brief: Volume 10, Issue 8, 2004, The Sociology of Private Tuition. Indeje Wanyama and Enos H.N. Njeru.". In: ISBN 9966-948-87-2. African Wildlife Foundation. Nairobi; 2004.


This paper discusses the issue of private tuition mainly at primary educational
level within various contexts, including governance. The paper notes that even
though the practice ofprivate tuition has been in existence for quite some time,
very little, if any, research has been undertaken to explain its nature, extent and
implications for the education system. Besides, nothing is known about its overall
socio-economic setups at the international as well as the national levels.
Technically, private tuition is not allowed in Kenya. However, there is ample
evidence to show that the practice is taking place on a very large scale. The
most affected is the mainstream system, with some of its teachers engaging in
the practice. The emphasis on examination as a basis for staff recruitment and
promotion has further aggravated this problem. Indeed, even some Ministry of
Education, Science and Technology (MoES&T) officials - who are supposed to
articulate Government Policy on Education - take their children to private tuition
classes. This is because they too, have to equally compete for the limited places
at higher levels oflearning and this can only be achieved through good performance
in National Examinations. This paper focuses on the genesis of private
tuition and schooling in comparison to public education, as well as the factors
that sustain the behind-the-scenes private tuition system, leading to consumers
of education (pupils and parents) demanding for private tuition services, and
those that lead to producers (tutors, including teachers and other entrepreneurs)
producing and supplying the commodity - private tuition.
This study was limited to a desk review ofpertinent literature and selected key
informant interviews. The study's key findings indicate that socio-economic inequalities
continue to be pervasively manifest in the practice ofprivate tuition;
quality service is not guaranteed as long as private tuition continues to get no
official recognition; and while private tuition constitutes a serious financial burden
to the low income households, strong support for it comes from both parents
and students.
The study recommends urgent recognition ofthe integral role played by private
tuition in the management and delivery ofeducation services, hence strong evidence
that banning private tuition is unlikely to achieve the intended levels of
compliance, especially on the part ofthe producers and consumers. Such recognition
should therefore pave way for stakeholder dialogue between parents and
education managers, while incorporating the expertise and views of education
scholars, to improve equity in education financing without compromising quality.
It is further recommended that a study of a larger primary data-based scale be
carried out to facilitate an authoritative authentication of the findings, and, in
effect, be used to guide the way forward in terms of formulating an effective
policy on private tuition and related planning and implementation issues.




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