Primary education in Kenya: Access and policy implications, 1989 – 2002

and Njeru ENBE. "Primary education in Kenya: Access and policy implications, 1989 – 2002.". In: Discussion Paper No. DP064/2005. IPAR Discussion Paper Series; 2005.


The study provides a critical analysis of primary education in Kenya between 1989 and 2002, focusing on participation, internal efficiency and equity. Key findings indicated that the major challenges facing primary school education in Kenya include unsatisfactory levels of access and participation, regional disparities, declining quality and relevance, rising educational costs, poverty incidence, and declining government financing (prior to FPE), internal inefficiencies and school wastage. Over-age enrollments, increasing dropout rates, high repetition rates, low completion rates, declining transition rates from primary education level to higher education levels, and declining survival rates denote internal inefficiencies and primary school wastage that characterized trends in access to primary education between 1989 and 2002. Most of the resources are spent on recurrent expenditure items dominated by teachers remuneration, while development allocation constitutes less 5 per cent (in 2001 the proportion was 2 per cent). Other challenges include lack of clear policy guidelines on cost sharing, inadequate mechanisms in the identification of needy students within the school system, inefficiencies in resource mobilization, utilization and accountability, poor management of some learning institutions, over reliance of donor funding in development projects/programmes, unsustainability of programmes/projects, child labour, and increasing numbers of destitute/street children. FPE initiative aims at addressing the challenges relating to access. However, close monitoring and evaluation are important in ensuring programme sustainability.

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