Kenya has been trying to achieve Universal Primary Education as a national goal since its independence. Reintroduction of free primary education in 2003 dramatically increased the number of children attending school. Economically disadvantaged children were provided a new educational opportunity.

The cost of providing free primary education is beyond the scope of the ordinary education budget, economic performance has not been strong and donor finance is often temporary. This financing may not be sustainable.

This shift in education financing by the donor community is a serious blow to free primary education, which is already threatened by deteriorating quality of education due to high pupil-teacher ratio (estimated at 80:1), way above the recommended ratio of 40:1; an acute shortage of infrastructure like classrooms, toilets, and offices; lack of trained teachers especially in urban informal settlements and rural areas; and inadequate teaching and learning materials to cater for the high number of enrolment.

-Joy Karemesi

UNIVERSALIZING PRIMARY EDUCATION IN KENYA, IS IT SUSTAINABLE?

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