Education in Kenya

Kenya’s education sector plan for 2018-2022 is a sector-wide plan that outlines the policy priorities along with programs and strategies for the education sector over the next five years. The plan builds on the successes and challenges of the 2013-2018 plan.

Primary school access and completion has greatly improved in both rural and urban areas, with gaps in counties in the north and north east. Overall, girls are more likely to stay in primary, transition to secondary and complete secondary compared to boys, but girls are severely disadvantaged in the arid and semi-arid regions in the north.

The Teacher Service Commission (TSC), an independent constitutional body reporting directly to the President of the Republic, is responsible for recruitment, deployment, training and performance appraisal of teachers.

Kenya’s local education group is called Education Development Partners Coordination Group, a highly representative stakeholder forum set up to support the ministry of Education in the successful implementation of the 2013–2018 education plan. In Kenya, development partners have been highly engaged in coordinating programs while overseeing the development of the new education sector plan.

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After years of poor results on learning outcomes, the teaching profession in Kenya is getting a makeover, thanks in part to a US$88.4 million grant from GPE. The grant also supports textbooks printing and distribution, and school improvements.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
The TPAD - or Teacher Performance Appraisal Development tool - is part of the GPE-funded Primary Education Development (PRIEDE) project, which focuses on strengthening school systems and governance. The project targets 4,000 public primary schools with poor performance and supports each school with a US$5,000 grant to develop and implement a school improvement plan.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
Developed and managed by the Teacher Service Commission (TSC), the entity that employs Kenya’s teachers, the TPAD allows the TSC to not only monitor teachers’ attendance and syllabus coverage, but also their classroom performance, knowledge, innovation, creativity, and discipline, among other things.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
Mercy Nelly (left),12, governor of her sixth-grade class, and Margaret Nyamoki (right), 12, the school’s education secretary, mark their sixth-grade teacher, Evelyne Saru Mchori, present. Mercy also notes what time the teacher arrives at class, what time she leaves and what she covers in the lesson.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
At Mirinti Primary School, Mobasa County, head teacher Philemon Mwalukumbi explains his observations to teacher Evelyne Saru Mchori. Teachers must rate themselves in terms of professional knowledge and application, time management, innovation and creativity in teaching, learners’ protection, among other criteria.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
Caroline Mwakisha, TSC County Director for Mombasa County says: “The TPAD has made teaching a new career, it has finally gotten the dignity it deserves. Teachers are now motivated, they are focused and they are happy. They are proud to be teachers - which is a beautiful thing... If you ask me, it is the best thing that ever happened to Kenya.”
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
Kenya is also developing an online system that will transform data management in the education sector and help to address disparities in access, retention and completion. It's called NEMIS - National Education Management Information System - and is currently being piloted in 600 schools with the support of GPE.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
Through NEMIS every child gets a unique identifying number, so they can be tracked even if they transfer to another school. The portal also gives a unique number to every teacher and to every institution in the country from early childhood development centers through to universities. This will help to address the needs of the students per the institutions they're attending.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
The PRIEDE project has supported 4,000 schools in preparing improvement plans, and has already printed and distributed more than 2.3 million copies of new mathematics textbooks for grades 1 and 2 and trained more than 70,000 teachers and head teachers in new teaching methodologies.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
With the support of GPE and projects like PRIEDE, the Kenyan government is developing a new and more effective curriculum, introducing ICT for teaching and learning, and implementing new measures for school management - all with the ultimate goal of improving learning outcomes for Kenyan children.
Credit: GPE/Kelley Lynch
Development objective: Improve early grade mathematics competency and strengthen management systems at school and national levels.
Allocation: US$9.7 million
Years: 2020-2022
Grant agent: World Bank

The current US$88.4 million GPE grant aims to improve early grade mathematics competency and strengthen management systems at school and national levels. The US$9.7 million additional financing will support the Government of Kenya to consolidate the gains in basic mathematics competency to further strengthen children’s foundational numeracy skills.

The additional financing focuses on four components:

  1. Improvement of early grade mathematics competency – By providing supervision/pedagogical support to teachers on the application of early grade mathematics methodologies in the classroom
  2. Strengthening school management and accountability – By integrating good school management practices and accountability mechanisms drawn from the school improvement plan
  3. Strengthening capacity for evidence-based policy development at national level – By producing and disseminating a statistical booklet on secondary education for 2019-2020; collecting of granular level data on the number of girls re-entering basic education; and providing technical training for the National Assessment Center staff
  4. Project coordination, communication, and monitoring and evaluation – By financing a survey on grade 2 students’ basic math competency; a study on teacher appraisal and professional development, and a study on equitable allocation of the student’s capitation grants.

The US$9.7 million grant will support the implementation of policies and or actions to reinforce equity, quality and efficiency in learning outcomes.

To improve learning outcomes the government will establish and roll out of a competency-based assessment for early education. With regards to equity, the government will adopt this competency-based assessment for students with special needs and disabilities. For efficiency, the government will increase the share of public schools complying with selected key elements of the new school capitation grant guidelines and operational manual.

The US$3 million results-based portion of the grant is keyed to achieving results in early education, extending educational opportunities to learners with special needs and disabilities, and schools’ compliance with new administrative guidelines to strengthen efficiency.

Grants

All amounts are in US dollars.

Grant type Years Allocations Disbursements Grant agent  
Program implementation 2020-2022 9,700,000 - World Bank
2015-2020 88,400,000 83,009,838 World Bank Progress report
2005-2008 121,000,000 121,000,000 World Bank  
Sector plan development 2013 250,000 248,350 World Bank  
Program development 2014 293,488 291,074 World Bank  
  TOTAL 219,643,488 204,549,262    

GPE has also provided the Elimu Yetu Coalition (EYC) with a grant from the Civil Society Education Fund, to support its engagement in education sector policy dialogue and citizens’ voice in education quality, equity, and financing and sector reform.

Education sector progress

The graphs below show overall progress in the education sector in Kenya, and GPE data shows the country progress on 16 indicators monitored in the GPE Results Framework.

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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 December 10, 2019