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There are several challenges facing education in Kenya that have been as blocks for attainment of goals and objectives of education in Kenya. Some of these challenges are natural, some financial in nature while others are economically and socially induced. Political challenges also are a major reason why these goals and objectives are still not achievable.
Here are some of the challenges facing education in Kenya
- Lack of adequate infrastructure and shortage of permanent classrooms in primary schools, particularly in poor counties. For example in North Eastern parts of the country.
- Lack of clear legal guidelines on the implementation of inclusive education and non formal education programs. The guidelines provided for implementation of educational plan are always inefficient.
- Lack of reliable data on children with special needs, out-of-school children and illiterate adults and youth. This results due to inadequate machines and personnel in collecting, analyzing and recording correct data.
- Shortfall of adult literacy teachers as well as teaching and learning materials. There are no proper motivation and clear follow up on adult education which discourages education in this level.
- Low transition rates from primary to secondary, secondary to higher education institutions, and higher education to special fields or job market.
- Outdated curricula for technical, vocational education and training.
- Inadequate physical facilities for technical, vocational education and training as well as mechanisms for quality assurance;
- Limited resources for expansion of universities to cope with the number of students leaving secondary schools.
- Mismatch between skills offered by universities and the demands of the labour market.
- High number of HIV/AIDS orphans.
- High pupils to teacher ratios in densely populated areas and low pupil to teacher ratios in less populated regions.
- Due to the need to contain the wage bill to manageable levels, the government does not employ new teachers, but only replaces those who leave through death, resignation or retirement. This has led to shortfall of teachers in schools.
Strategies to address challenges facing education in Kenya
- The Ministry of Education has drafted a national policy on ECE, which provides guidelines on the implementation of the ECE programmes. The draft policy is under discussion with the stakeholders before being finalized and adopted.
- Adult literacy survey was conducted between June and August 2006 and findings should establish the actual literacy levels in the country.
3. Draft policy on gender and education is being developed.
- Draft policy on Open and Distance Learning (ODM) being developed.
- Review of all laws on education and training is on-going through a task force on legal frame work for education and training.
- Ministry of Education has prepared a draft paper on teacher employment and deployment to ensure equitable staff distribution.