Education Policy in Kenya

The provision of education and training to all Kenyans is fundamental to the success of the Government’s overall development strategy, especially Vision 2030. Sessional Paper No 1 of 2005 on Policy Framework for Education, Training and Research spells out the education policy towards the realisation of the national economic blueprint.

The Government is committed to the realisation of universal access to basic education as prescribed in the Education for All initiatives and the UN Millennium Development Goals. It also recognises education as key to the development and protection of democratic institutions and human rights.

Education policy has evolved over the years through the recommendations of numerous commissions. The first commission after independence, the Kenya Education Commission (Ominde Report, 1964), sought to reform the education system inherited from the colonial government and make it more responsive to the needs of independent Kenya.

The 1976 Report of the National Committee on Educational Objectives and Policies ( Gachathi Report) focused on redefining educational policies and objectives, giving special attention to national unity and economic, social and cultural aspirations of Kenya. It resulted in Government support for harambee schools and the establishment of the National Centre for Early Childhood Education at KIE.

The 1982 Report of the Presidential Working Party on the Second University in Kenya (Mackay Report) led to the establishment of Moi University and the expansion of post-secondary training institutions.

It also recommended the establishment of the 8:4:4 systems of education and the Commission for Higher Education.

However, the Report of the Presidential Working Party on Education and Manpower Training for the Next Decade and Beyond (Kamunge Report, 1988) focused on financing quality and relevance of education. From the Kamunge Report, the Government produced Sessional Paper No 6 on Education and Training for the Next Decade and Beyond. This led to cost-sharing between Government, parents and local communities.

Recent policy initiatives have focused on the attainment of Education for All and universal primary education. Key concerns are access, retention, equity, quality and relevance and internal and external efficiencies.

In 2003, the Government organised the National Conference on Education and Training that brought together more than 800 players in education. The conference developed a new policy framework for education. The Sessional Paper No 1 of 2005 on Policy Framework for Education, Training and Research constitutes the Government policy on education and training and is based on the  recommendations of the conference.

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