Secondary Education and Schools in Kenya


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Secondary school education in Kenya caters for teenagers in the 14-17 age  group. Students sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) after four years. This prepares them for university,  middle level trades,professions, vocational and technical training.

Between 2003—2013, secondary education expanded initially as a result of the demand created by introduction of the free education primary education. However, access to secondary education continued to expand rapidly because of implementation of free tuition secondary education that was introduced by the Government in 2008.

The introduction of the initiative was expected to improve access to secondary education whose demand had increased as a result of the free primary education initiative. Secondary school enrolment rose from 862,907 students in 2003 to 1.4 million in 2008. Thereafter the figure rose to 1.8 million in 2011 and 1.9 million in 2012.

But despite the increased enrolment, retention seemed to have been a major drawback.

The overall retention rate for secondary school level declined from 96.2 per cent in 2011 to 92.4 per cent in 2012. The decline in retention rate was attributed to high school fees imposed by the schools in spite of the availability of the fees guidelines for public secondary schools.

Amid efforts to improve the quality of secondary education, the Government upgraded about a 100 secondary schools to national school status. The move increased the number of national schools from 18 in 2011 to 114 in 2013. Each national school was granted Kshs25 million to expand its physical facilities, especially classrooms and dormitories.

Free Tuition Secondary Programme has opened up high school education. Funding from the African Development Bank, Constituency Development Fund and local communities has increased the number of classrooms and laboratories. The outcome is more Form One places, higher transition rate from primary to secondary from 72.5 per cent in 2010 to 74.6 in 2011.

Steps have been taken to improve grades in mathematics and sciences, ensuring high pupil textbook ratio, especially in rural areas and urban slums, and providing instructional materials to needy public secondary schools. The government allows re entry of girls who drop out of school because of pregnancy and early or forced marriages.

To introduce equity in secondary schools the Government, in 2011, elevated 87 provincial schools to national schools. The aim is to have at least two national schools in each of the 47 counties.

Each school has been allocated funds to upgrade classrooms, laboratories and dormitories. The expansion Will create 6,000 places.

List of National Schools in Kenya – 2o1o

  1. Alliance High School
  2. Alliance Girls’ High School,
  3. Kenya High School
  4. Lenana School
  5. Lirnuru Girls’ School
  6. Loreto High School Limuru
  7. Mang ’u High School
  8. Maryhill School Thika
  9. Maseno School
  10. Moi Forces Academy
  11. Moi Girls’ High School Eldoret
  12. Nairobi School
  13. Nakuru Girls’ High School
  14. Nakuru High School
  15. Starehe Boys’ Centre & School
  16. Starehe Girls’ Centre School
  17. Utumishi Academy

Some of the new national schools in Kenya created in 2011

  1. Asumbi Girls’ Secondary School (Homa Bay)
  2. Bunyore Girls’ High School (Vihiga)
  3. Bura Girls’ High School (Tana River)
  4. Chogoria Girls’ High School (Tharaka Nirhi)
  5. Garissa High School (Garissa)
  6. Kagurno High School (Nyeri)
  7. Kakamega High School (Kakamega)
  8. Kamusinga Friends’ School (Bungoma)
  9. Kanga High School (Migori)
  10. Kapsabet Boys’ High School (Nandi)
  11. Karima Girls’ Secondary School (Nyandarua)
  12. Kenyatta High School Mwatate (Taitae Taveta)
  13. Kipsigis Girls’ Secondary School (Kericho)
  14. Kisii High School (Kisii)
  15. Lugulu Girls’ High School (Bungoma)
  16. Machakos Boys’ High School (Machakos)
  17. Makueni Boys’ High School (Makueni)
  18. Mama Ngina Girls’ Secondary School (Mombasa)
  19. Maranda High School (Bondo)
  20. Mem School (Meru)
  21. Moi Girls’ School lsinya (Kajiado)
  22. Moi High School Mbiruri (Embu)
  23. Murang’a High School (Murang’a)
  24. Muthale Girls’ Secondary School (Kirui)
  25. Nyabururu Girls’ Secondary School (Kisii)
  26. Pangani Girls’ School (Nairobi)
  27. Ribe Boys’ Secondary School (Kilifi)
  28. St Patrick’s High School Iten (Elgeiyo/Marakwet)
  29. St Brigid ’s High School Kiminini (Trans Nzoia)
  30. Tartar Girls’ Secondary School (West Pokot)

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