Development of Education in Kenya

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1.1 Definition of terms3

1.2 Background information4

1.2.1 Pre-colonial education4

1.2.2 Post colonial education in Kenya (Neocolonialism)4

1.3 National Aims/Goals of Education in Kenya6

1.4 Structure of education6

1.4.1 Early Childhood Development and Education7

1.4.2 Primary education8

1.4.3 Secondary education9

1.4.4 Teacher Education9

1.4.5 Tertiary Education10

1.4.6 University education11

1.5 Administration system11

1.5.1 Permanent secretary11

1.5.2 Finance and administration Division12

1.5.3 Directorate of Education12

1.5.4 Field Service Education Officers13


2.1 Recommendations to the Challenge of Education in Kenya17

3.0 Conclusion18

3.1 References.19


The provision of education and training to all Kenyans is fundamental to the success of the Government’s overall development strategy. First, the long term objective of the Government is to provide every Kenyan with basic quality education and training, including 2 years of pre-primary, 8 years of primary and 4 years of secondary/technical education. Education also aims at enhancing the ability of Kenyans to preserve and utilize the environment for productive gain and sustainable livelihoods. Second, development of quality human resource is central to the attainment of national goals for industrial development. Third, the realization of universal access to basic education and training ensures equitable access to education and training for all children, including disadvantaged and vulnerable groups. Fourth, education is necessary for the development and protection of democratic institutions and human rights.

Hence, this paper aims at describing the development of formal education in Kenya. It will first of all explore formal education in pre-colonial era. It will then show how different commissions have contributed to the development of formal education in post-colonial era. The paper will also shed light on the national goals of education, the structure of education and finance system in each level of education through government initiatives. Moreover, it will look into the administration of the education system and finally discuss the various challenges facing the education sector and their recommendations.

1.1 Definition of terms
According to Sifuna and Otiende (1992) education is the process of acquiring worthwhile accumulated knowledge, skills attitudes and values from one generation to the next. From this point of view therefore, education is meant to teach a student how to live his life by developing his mind and equipping him to deal with reality.

Formal as defined by Webster Dictionary is “relating to or involving the outward form, structure, relationships, or arrangement of elements rather than content”. It may also mean following or according with established form, custom or rule.

Formal education
A formal education program is the process of training and developing people in knowledge, skills, mind and character in a structured and certified program. The features of formal education include Classrooms, teachers, students, content and others (Sifuna and Otiende, 1992).

1.2 Background information
1.2.1 Pre-colonial education
Sifuna, Chege and Oanda (2006) observe that historical records reveal that Kenyans had access to education as far back as Johann Ludwing Krapf and Johannes Rebman. Formal education was introduced basically to promote evangelism but later on it become an instrument for production of skilled labour for the Europeans farms and clerical staff for colonial administration. The missionaries determined the type of education African had to have – they built schools, managed them determined the curriculum and influenced education policies. It all started in 1846 with the church missionary...
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