Kenya: A Policy Framework for Education (Second Draft), issued in 2012

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Rationale of the strategy

The policy had to be revised to align with the new constitution of Kenya (developed in 2010) and the Kenya Vision 2030. It follows the government’s need to reform the educational sector, which demands modernization to meet the new constitutional requirements, national aspirations and the challenges arising from globalisation. In revising the policy, the Department of Education follows Kenya’s national philosophy, which places education at the centre of the country’s human and economic development and focuses on the acquisition of knowledge and skills as well as provision of lifelong learning.

Concept of lifelong learning

Lifelong learning is necessary to empowering individuals to become self-determined and educated citizens. Compulsory basic education alone cannot prepare people for the ever changing global labour market as they, in addition to the formally transferred knowledge, need to obtain more complex skills like confidently performing non-routine tasks, being capable of problem-solving, taking decisions and adapting to the internationalised context. Continuing and non-formal education is therefore a vehicle for the empowerment of individuals, especially those who are out of the formal school system.

Main challenges

  • Inadequately trained literacy and adult education teachers
  • Limited resource allocations and inappropriate infrastructure
  • Lack of capitation grants for instructional materials
  • Low access to continuing education and non-formal education, high gender disparities
  • Negative attitudes and perceptions towards adult learning
  • Lack of appropriate quality assurance, therefore inadequate learning centres

Main targets and measures

  • Provide quality services and programmes for continuing education and non-formal education
  • Provide opportunities for lifelong learning: establish learning resource centres in every constituency
  • Define continuing, non-formal and informal education and determine the respective roles, responsibilities and inter-connections
  • Implement strategies to work with private sector partners and NGOs to mobilise funds to develop and implement targeted programmes for continuing and non-formal education
  • Strengthen research, monitoring, evaluation and quality assurance of the programmes and the institutions
  • Enhance the quality of the trainers
  • All the different age groups and educational sectors are targeted in the policy, with an emphasis on adult/continuing and non-formal education

Particular feature of the policy

The policy includes an elaborate chapter about financing and resource mobilisation. After presenting the overall challenges and grievances, there are sub-chapters for the different education sectors. They concentrate on the formal units of pre-primary, primary, secondary and special education and display for each unit the current societal and fiscal challenges. Building on these, the document determines policies and strategies to be employed by the Government of Kenya. The challenges outlined are numerous and bring along the need for new approaches. In all of the educational units, private funding partnerships have to be promoted to complement the National Government’s funding for teachers, instruction materials, the building and maintaining of schooling facilities as well as the establishment for capitation grants. The guiding principle of all undertakings has to be the affordability for the citizens, as the right to affordable education is a human right. For the pre-primary and the special education units, the Policy calls for mainstreaming them to the concept of basic education and equip them with the same materials as other education units. Therefore they must be met with the same willingness to funding. Overall, the objective is to establish a cost-effective system and to mobilise more Non-State Actors to invest in education, be it financially or in kind.

References to other relevant documents:

Stakeholders involved in the development of the policy:

  • The Government
  • Ministry of Education

Stakeholders responsible for implementation of the policy:

Further readings and web links:

  • Kenya Vision 2030. The popular version

Issuing Body

Department of Education