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COPING WITH RAPID EXPANSION WITHIN THE FRAMEWORK OF SFA POLICY – KENYA’S EXPERIENCE 7 th Meeting of the Working Group on EFA at UNESCO, PARIS – 19 th to 21 st July, 2006 Prof. George Godia Education Secretary Ministry of Education, Kenya. Introduction.

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7th Meeting of the Working Group on EFA at UNESCO, PARIS – 19th to 21st July, 2006

Prof. George Godia

Education Secretary

Ministry of Education, Kenya

  • Kenya Government declared Free Primary Education in January 2003. This was necessitated by declining enrolments following the introduction of cost sharing policy in 1989.
introduction cont
Introduction (cont.)
  • Cost sharing was a Government strategy to cope with the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) introduced by the Brettonwoods Institutions.
  • This hindered many children especially those from the economically marginalized groups from accessing primary education.
objectives of fpe
Objectives of FPE

The prime objectives of FPE include:

  • To reverse the declining enrolments at primary level.
  • To enhance access, retention, quality and relevance at primary education level.
  • To improve participation, progression and completion rates at primary level.
objectives of fpe cont
Objectives of FPE (cont.)
  • To implement sector policy goals including universally accepted conventions on the provision of education especially EFA and MDGs to which Kenya is a signatory.
  • To reduce the burden of the cost previously borne by parents in the provision of primary education.
objectives of fpe cont6
Objectives of FPE (cont.)
  • To streamline and rationalize the utilization of educational resources.
  • To implement the provisions of the Children's rights domesticated in Children’s Act 2001.
  • To improve on learning achievements.
effects of abolition of fees
Effects of Abolition of Fees
  • Following the abolition of fees and levies in January 2003, there was an upsurge in enrolment where an additional one million children were immediately enrolled in public primary schools.
effects of abolition of fees cont
Effects of Abolition of Fees (cont.)
  • The number of pupils in public primary schools increased from 5.9 million in December 2002 to 6.9 million in January 2003.
  • By December 2004, the number had grown to 7.12 million children as illustrated in Table 1 and Figure 1.
effects of abolition of fees cont10
Effects of Abolition of Fees (cont.)
  • Currently the enrolment stands at 7.6 million.
  • The abolition is also benefiting children in NFS and about 300,000 are already on board.
effects of abolition of fees cont11
Effects of Abolition of Fees (Cont.)
  • The Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) increased from 88.2 percent in 2002 to 102.8 percent in 2003.
  • The GER rose further to 104.8 in 2004.
  • The GER for boys and girls increased considerably from 88.9 and 87.5 percent in 2002 to 108.0 and 101.6 percent in 2004 respectively.
effects of abolition of fees cont14
Effects of Abolition of Fees (cont.)
  • Overstretched physical facilities including water and sanitation.
  • Increased class sizes particularly in the urban slums areas. This led to high PTRs whereby in some cases it exceeded 100:1.
  • Initial decline in quality of education due to reduced teacher pupil contact.
  • Increased workload for teachers.
coping strategies and mechanisms
Coping Strategies and Mechanisms

1. Constitution of FPE Taskforce

In response to the initial implementation

challenges posed by the upsurge, MoE

constituted a task force comprising of

Ministry officials, Development Partners,

Private Sector and Civil Society


constitution of fpe taskforce cont
Constitution of FPE Taskforce (cont.)

The main objective of the task force was:

  • To develop appropriate strategies for implementing FPE
  • To identify concrete guidelines for smooth and effective implementation of FPE.
2 resource mobilization
2. Resource Mobilization

Immediately after the initiation of FPE, the

Government and other stakeholders

embarked on a rapid resource mobilization

exercise to cope with the upsurge.

resource mobilization cont
Resource Mobilization (cont.)

Some of the initial sources of the FPE funds


  • Kshs.519 million (US$6.8 million) from the Government in emergency grants for use in public primary schools to address immediate school needs. Out of this, each school received a grant of KShs.28,871 (US$380) to cater for basic needs such as chalk, duster, exercise books, etc;
resource mobilization cont20
Resource Mobilization (cont.)
  • KShs.1.6 billion (US$21.1 million) grant was received from DFID;
  • KShs.192 million (US$2.5 million) from UNICEF to purchase teaching and learning materials.
resource mobilization cont21
Resource Mobilization (cont.)
  • A further KShs.2.4 billion (US$31.6 million) was disbursed from Treasury under the supplementary estimates for the financial year 2002/03;
  • World Bank – Kshs.3.75 billion (US$50 million) grant. This was meant to last two years to cater for instructional materials and capacity building.
resource mobilization cont22
Resource Mobilization (cont.)
  • DFID/SIDA/CIDA- Kshs.809 million (US$10.6 million)
  • WFP – Kshs.1.056 billion (US$13.9 million)
  • OPEC – Kshs.753 million (US$9.9 million)
resource mobilization cont25
Resource Mobilization (cont.)
  • Other notable contributors to the success of the programme included Oxfam (GB), Action Aid, a number of NGOs, CBOs, CSOs and FBOs
  • Universal Primary Education Fund Account was opened through which all well wishers would channel their support to FPE.
3 data collection and information
3. Data Collection and Information
  • Data on school enrollment was collected for funding purposes.
  • The Ministry also developed circulars on guidelines to teachers and headteachers on FPE implementation.
  • Curriculum materials were developed and teachers advised on modalities of coping with the expanded enrollment.
4 teacher development capacity building
4. Teacher Development - Capacity Building
  • Extensive orientation/training was provided to teachers through national in-service programme under SbTD.
  • School cluster approach was introduced in selected ASAL Districts to help teachers on child-centered-interactive and participatory methods.
  • Training of school management committee on financial management.
5 teacher balancing and deployment
5. Teacher Balancing and Deployment
  • In coping with the increased workload for teachers and to address the existing shortage of teachers in certain areas, the Government embarked on a countrywide staff balancing exercise by deploying teachers from over-staffed regions/districts/schools to those that were understaffed.
6 monitoring and audit strategies
6. Monitoring and Audit Strategies
  • The Ministry established a monitoring strategy from headquarters through provinces to the district. In this set up, District Education Officers were required to monitor in every primary school’s disbursed funds, enrolment status, textbook-pupil ratio and curriculum implementation.
  • Established auditing mechanisms to ensure accountability.
7 other coping strategies
7. Other Coping Strategies
  • The Government reached out to development partners and other stakeholders for support towards the expansion of school physical facilities.
other strategies
Other Strategies
  • Partnered with Ministries of Home Affairs, Local Government and civil society in bringing the orphans and out-of-school children back to school.
  • The Government intensified and sustained sensitization and awareness raising campaigns on the roles of various stakeholders in the implementation of FPE.
other strategies cont
Other Strategies (cont.)
  • Quality monitoring and standards assessment visits to all schools were intensified to ensure that education quality was not diluted.
  • Integrated the FPE strategy with the process of developing a long term development plan using Sector Wide Approaches (SWAp).
lessons learnt
Lessons Learnt
  • Sustained political commitment and goodwill remain critical to the success of the programme.
  • Partnership and collaboration at every level of the programme implementation is essential to its sustainability.
lessons learnt cont
Lessons Learnt (cont.)
  • Establishment of an elaborate institutional framework is a prerequisite for successful programme implementation.
  • Entrenchment of the programme into the national budget right at the inception is vitally important.
lessons learnt cont35
Lessons Learnt (cont.)
  • Despite cost being one of the single most important factors inhibiting access, it is acknowledged that there are other informal barriers that hinder access which include:
  • Social cultural factors.
  • Perception of the term Free Education.
  • Feeding Programmes
lessons learnt cont36
Lessons Learnt (cont.)
  • Removal of bureaucracy in the disbursement of FPE resources facilitates the effective disbursement of funds directly to the schools, thus, it removes the role of the middlemen and hence minimizes leakages.
way forward
Way Forward
  • Countries like Kenya which have adopted the SFAI policy should be considered for financial support from the international community. This will help bridge the gap created by the diversion of national resources towards supporting the “bold initiative”.
  • Currently 23.8 percent of the Kenyan budget is allocated to education. Out of a total Government budget of KShs. 415.9 billion (US$ 5.8 billion) Education takes KShs. 99 billion (US$ 1.4 billion).