Access to basic education in Kenya: inherent concerns

Abstract


Achoka, J. S. K1., Stephen O. Odebero2, Julius K. Maiyo3 and Ndiku J. Mualuko4

Basic education being the minimum education that every Kenyan must have for progressive existence in society is a crucial factor. That is why Kenya subscribes to the international protocol that established Education for All (EFA) in Jomtien, Thailand 1990 and the world education forum in Dakar, Senegal, 2000. Since then, the Kenya Government in her Education Sector Strategic Plan and Sessional paper No. 1 of 2005 has articulated how to attain goals for education. For instance early childhood education which tries to ensure development of the whole personality of the child’s physical, mental, and socio-emotional attributes faces challenges such as lack of access to early childhood education mostly caused by poverty, regional and gender disparities, policy framework, and HIV/AIDS among others. At primary school level where children stay longest in the schooling years and they develop more motor skill, further cognitive skills along with higher socialization than the early childhood education level, has children failing to access education due to poverty, gender imbalances, regional imbalances among other concerns. Secondary education which creates a human resource base higher than the primary education along with training youth for further education and the world of work registers restriction to many children due to concerns of poverty, gender imbalances, insecurity regional disparity among others. This article articulates in detail the above concerns discussing their manifestations in Kenya. Conclusions are drawn and recommendations made on how to improve access to basic education in Kenya. Among the recommendations are: To make basic education free and compulsory, improve provision of health services, intensify fight against demeaning cultures, give special attention to children with disabilities, avail employment opportunities to the youth, assure security to all in conflict prone zones and tighten bursary disbursement procedures.

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