Education in Kenya

The government of Kenya recognizes education as the primary means of sustainable economic development, social mobility, national cohesion, and social development. This has led to the implementation of programs that rapidly expanded the education sector.

Challenges and gaps in the education sector include lack of comprehensive strategies for teacher development and provision of holistic early childhood care and education. Ineffective and uncoordinated monitoring and evaluation of education outcomes and programs has exacerbated weaknesses.

The National Education Sector Plan 2013-2018 (NESP) aims to meet four goals:

  1. An education administration structure that:
    • provides equitable access to education for all children,
    • enables central, county, and local authorities and schools access to information,
    • has agencies and processes in place to provide quality assurance of learning.
  2. A schooling system delivering the compulsory core curriculum in a safe environment in order to meet each individual’s academic, professional, and technical needs and national, social and economic goals.

  3. An integrated curriculum framework for basic education that:
    • enables creativity, practicability, and productivity
    • is based on pedagogies that stimulate intellectual and practical qualities of all learners,
    • supports a culture of democracy, tolerance, social, and environmental awareness.
  4. A structure of tertiary education that fosters academic quality, rigor, and research necessary for knowledge based society and expands the learning pathways for young people.

The NESP outlines six priority areas for grouping programs and activities to meet these goals. These priority areas are: education sector governance and accountability, access to free and compulsory basic education, education quality, equity and inclusion, relevance, and social competencies and values.

Blogs and news

Langata West School, Nairobi, Kenya. Credit: GPE/Mediabase
January 03, 2019
The government in Kenya distributed over 12 million early grade literacy and numeracy textbooks to public primary schools in alignment with the Competence Based Curriculum (CBC) that the government...
Students at Nyamachaki Primary School, Kenya. Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
December 03, 2018
Global Citizen has announced 57 commitments totaling more than US$7 billion, surpassing its goal seven times, and significant commitments were also made to #FundEducation.
Students engaged in a robotics session during an education tour to CEMASTEA – Copyright: CEMASTEA, 2018
November 10, 2018
Celebrate with us the World Science Day for Peace and Development

Latest grant

Development objective: Improve early grade mathematics competency and to strengthen management systems at school and national levels
Grant agent:IBRD

The second GPE-funded program in Kenya is supporting the provision of basic education and improvements in the quality of education.

The four components of the grant are:

  1. Improve early grade mathematics competencies through supporting the scaling up of piloted methodology, increasing teacher competencies, providing adequate classroom instruction materials, and enhancing teacher pedagogical supervision.
  2. Support strengthening of school management and accountability through a pilot involving school analysis, appraisal of teacher competencies, capacity building for school improvement planning and school audits, and monitoring results.
  1. Build capacity for evidence-based policy development at national level through strengthening data collection and availability, enhancing the monitoring of student learning achievements, and enhancing capacity to develop policies at the national level.
  2. Support project coordination, communication, and result monitoring and evaluation.

The Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology leads the program with the World Bank as grant agent and the Canada High Commission as the coordinating agency.

Source: World Bank project appraisal document, May 2015


All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2015-2019 88,400,000 62,642,880 IBRD Progress report
2005-2008 121,000,000 121,000,000 IBRD  
Sector plan development 2013 250,000 248,350 IBRD  
Program development 2014 293,488 291,074 IBRD  
  TOTAL 209,943,488 184,182,304    

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Kenya. For detailed results from GPE funding, please look for progress reports in the grants section.


Primary completion rate (%)

Lower secondary completion rate

Out-of-school rate for children of primary school age

Out-of-school rate for adolescents of lower secondary school age

Pre-primary gross enrollment rate

Gender parity index for out-of-school rate – Primary and lower secondary

Public expenditure on education as share of GDP (%)

Public expenditure on education as a share of public expenditure (%)

Students/trained teacher ratio

Teachers trained (%)

Source: World Bank - Education Data
Data on education are compiled by the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Institute for Statistics from official responses to surveys and from reports provided by education authorities in each country.

Last updated September 26, 2018