Education in Kenya
Hon. Prof Margaret Kamar M.P.
The 18th conference of the Commonwealth Ministers comes at the most opportune time when the partnership being proposed will contribute to accelerated development in Science and Technology.
The global economy is undergoing rapid development, where technology, driven by skills and innovation, will be among the key determinants of enhancing efficiency, productivity and competitiveness. Through Vision 2030, Kenya intends to become a knowledge-led economy wherein, the creation, adaptation and use of knowledge will be among the most critical factors for rapid economic growth. Realization of the Vision goals is predicated on harnessing the right creative talents capable of raising Kenya’s international competitiveness by enhancing productivity at all levels. It envisages that throughout the education, training and research system, learning will inculcate the use of knowledge to create wealth, improve social welfare and promote democratic governance.
In appreciation of the critical role of skills development for science, technology and innovation in today’s shifting paradigm to knowledge-based economic development and the role that innovation has to play in knowledge-worker economies, the Government established the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology in May, 2008 to harmonize, implement, guide and coordinate higher education, science and technology towards the realization of this agenda.
The Government of Kenya values the contribution of development partners and welcome investment in Education not only from the Commonwealth but also from the fifty four member countries.
Joined Commonwealth: 1963
Population: 39,802,000 (2009)
GDP p.c. growth: 0.2% p.a. 1990-2009
UN HDI 2010: world ranking 128
Net primary enrolment: 83.3% (2009)
Net secondary enrolment: 49.6% (2009)
Gross tertiary enrolment: 4.1% (2009)
Adult literacy: 87.0% (2009)
Samson Kagengo Ongeri – Minister of Education, Kenya
There are eight years of compulsory education starting at age six. Net enrolment ratios are 83.3% for primary and 49.6% for secondary (2009), with a primary female-male ratio of 0.98:1and secondary female-male ratio of 0.90:1, and gross enrolment ratio for all levels of education combined was 66.7% (2009). The pupil-teacher ratio for primary is 47:1 and for secondary 30:1 (2009). The school year starts in January.
Among the many higher education institutions are the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University (in Eldoret since 1984), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (in Juja since 1994), Egerton University (Njoro, Nakuru); and a growing number of private universities. The female-male ratio for tertiary education is 0.35:1 (2009). Literacy among people aged 15-24 is 93% (2009).
The government is committed to providing good quality education to all of Kenya’s citizens and works in close partnership with NGOs in delivering education and training facilities for special-needs children.
The National ICT Strategy for Education and Training comprises e-government, management information systems and e-learning. It aims to arm education managers and planners with timely data and to ensure that teachers and students have ICT appropriate to the learning process.
The ministry, with the support of the Kenya ICT Trust Fund, has set up national and regional ICT support centres, mostly in the polytechnics and universities, to provide telephone or online technical support to schools.