Oxford Brookes University Paul Kenya The Kenya Free Primary Education Policy (FPE)
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Oxford Brookes University Paul Kenya The Kenya Free Primary Education Policy (FPE) An Assessment on the Impact and Sustainability of Free Primary Education in Migwani Division Centre for Emergency and Development Practice (CENDEP), School of the Built Environment Masters of Art in Humanitarian and Development Practice
Oxford Brookes University Centre for Emergency and Development Practice (CENDEP), School of the Built Environment Masters of Art in Humanitarian and Development Practice 2006/7 Paul Kenya The Kenya Free Primary Education Policy (FPE) An Assessment on the Impact and Sustainability of Free Primary Education in Migwani Division Supervisor: Dr Mohamed Hamza Submitted February 2008 This thesis is submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Masters of Art in Humanitarian and Development Practice
1 Table of Contents Page Table of Contents 1 List of Tables 3 List of Charts 3 List of Acronyms 4 Acknowledgments 6 Abstract 7 Chapter One 8 1.1 Introduction 8 1.1.1 Kenya Profile 8 1.1.2 Review of the Kenya education system 11 1.2 Research Aim and Objectives 14 1.3 Research Methodology 15 1.4 Organisation of the Study 17 1.4.1 Research Design 17 1.4.2 Selection of Case Studies 17 1.4.3 Limitations of the Study 18 Chapter Two 21 2.1 Literature Review 21 2.1.1 Rights of the Child 27 2.1.2 Free Primary Education and its Rationale 29 Chapter Three 33 3.1 Case Studies 33
2 3.1.1 Itoloni Primary School 33 3.1.2 Kangutheni Primary School 36 3.1.3 Kalembwa Primary school 39 3.1.4 Migwani AIC Primary 43 3.1.5 Itumbi Primary school 48 3.1.6 Kyamboo Primary School 50 3.1.7 Migwani DEB School 53 3.1.8 Tumaini Primary School 56 3.1.9 Area Education Office (Migwani Division) 58 Chapter Four 62 4.1 Results 62 4.1.1 FPE Policy 62 4.1.2 Performance and Learning Materials 63 4.1.3 Enrolment and Student Retention 65 4.1.4 Funding 68 Chapter Five 70 5.1 Discussion 70 5.1.2 Review on Enrolment 70 5.1.3 Quality of Education 71 5.1.4 Funding 72 5.1.5 Conclusions Chapter Six 75 6.1 Recommendations 75 6.1.1 Enhancing Community Participation 75
3 6.1.2 Dealing with the Enrolment Rates 76 6.1.3 Reviewing School Funding 77 6.1.4 Enhancing the Quality of Education 78 Appendix A: Interview Questions for Various Groups 82 Appendix B: Data Tables 83 References and Bibliography 84 List of Tables Table 1: Funding: Itoloni Primary School 36 Table 2: Funding: Kangutheni Primary School 39 Table 3: Funding: Kalembwa Primary school 42 Table 4: Funding: Migwani AIC Primary 46 Table 5: Funding: Itumbi Primary school 48 Table 6: Funding: Kyamboo Primary School 53 Table 7: Funding: Migwani DEB School 56 Table 8: KCPE Mean Scores: Migwani Location 64 Table 9: Overall Dropout Range in Migwani since 2003 66 Table 10: Dropout Ranges by Gender since 2003 67 List of Charts Chart1: Enrolment and KCPE performance: Itoloni Primary School 34 Chart1B: Enrolment by Gender: Itoloni Primary School 35 Chart 2: Enrolment and KCPE performance: Kangutheni Primary School 37 Chart 2B: Enrolment by Gender: Kangutheni Primary School 38
4 Chart 3: Enrolment and KCPE performance: Kalembwa Primary school 40 Chart 3B: Enrolment by Gender: Kalembwa Primary school 41 Chart 4: Enrolment and KCPE performance: Migwani AIC Primary 43 Chart 4B: Enrolment by Gender: Migwani AIC Primary 44 Chart 5: Enrolment and KCPE performance: Itumbi Primary school 48 Chart 6: Enrolment and KCPE performance: Kyamboo Primary School 51 Chart 6B: Enrolment by Gender: Kyamboo Primary School 51 Chart 7: Enrolment and KCPE performance: Migwani DEB School 54 Chart 7B: Enrolment by Gender: Migwani DEB School 54 Chart 8: Enrolment: Tumaini Primary School 57 Chart 8B: Enrolment by Gender: Tumaini Primary School 57 Chart 9: Migwani Location Overall enrolment 59 Chart 9B: Migwani Location KCPE Performance 59 Chart 9C: Migwani Location: Enrolment by Gender 60 List of Acronyms AIDS Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome ASAL Arid and Semi Arid Areas BOG Board of Governors CBO Community Based Organizations DEB District Education Board DEO District Education Officer ECD Early Childhood Development EFA Education For all FPE Free Primary Education FSE Free Secondary Education GDP Gross Domestic Product GER Gross Enrolment Rate
5 GOK Government of Kenya GPA General Purpose Account HIV Human Immunodeficiency virus KCPE Kenya Certificate of Education KESI Kenya Education Staff Institute KIE Kenya Institute of Education KISE Kenya Institute of Special Education KNEC Kenya National Examinations Council MDG Millennium Development Goals MOEST Ministry of Education MOH Ministry of Health NARC National Alliance Rainbow Coalition NFE Non formal Education NGO Non- governmental Organisation PTA Parents Teachers Association PTR Pupil Teachers Ratio SFP School Feeding Programme SMC School management Committee STD Sexually transmitted Diseases SWAP Sector Wide Approach TAC Teacher Advisory Committee TIQET Totally Integrated quality Education Training TSC Teachers Service Commission UNICEF United Nations Children’s Fund UPE Universal Primary Education Swahili Phrases Harrambee Schools Community created schools Elimu Bora Better Education
6 Acknowledgments I would like to thank the Migwani Resource Centre for the support they gave me while conducting my research and the Area Education Office of Migwani for giving me access to the schools in the Location. I am thankful to the teachers, students and the community members of Migwani who took time off their busy schedules to share their thoughts on this new policy. The support and guidance I received from the course chair Dr. David Sanderson and my fellow Oxford Brookes HDP masters students lead to my choice of this subject area which has greatly enhanced my knowledge in the Kenyan education sector. As an intern at UNICEF Regional Office in Nairobi, I received more training in Excel and had access to the UN library for which I am very grateful to the Management at the Human Resource Section. This research would not have been complete without the continuous support by my Supervisor Dr. Mohamed Hamza who helped me into shaping this study. I would like to thank my wife Cherie Siggelkow who helped in editing my work and who encouraged me during and after the research period. Her interests in this field of study and her past experience in research were invaluable to me. Finally, I dedicate this paper to my newly born daughter, Makeda Kenya (currently nine months) who through her early morning wake up calls kept me out of bed to focus on completing my research. Chapter after chapter, we moved together from one growth spout to another. May the team spirit we established in your early stages of life, be the beginning of a long time partnership throughout our lives!
7 Abstract On January 6th 2003, the Kenyan children started the day with new vigor and hope. Primary education was free and all that was required was for every child regardless of age to walk to a school next to where they lived. This research aims to evaluate the impact of the FPE policy and its sustainability. Though the abolition of school levies increased the number of students attending primary school, with it came many challenges that the government continues to face. The issue of quality education has been of great concern as the number of pupils have doubled or tripled in some cases, thus affecting the pupil to teacher ratios. Some parents have since then removed their children from private school so as to benefit from this free education while others have left the public sectors due to poor quality of education and overcrowded classes. This study comes almost five years after the implementation of the FPE and when the country is ready to go to the polls again. It’s a reasonable time frame after ample time has been given to incorporate the lessons learnt and will offer a comparative report with the government end of term reports. Though the Kenya Government pledged to provide funds for purchase of all teaching learning materials, teachers’ salaries and for capacity building programs, reports of delayed or inadequate funding are common among most institutions. As in many African nations that have implemented FPE, the question of sustaining FPE when there has been a heavy initial dose of donor funds injected into the program is still a big debate in Kenya. This research combines case studies from Migwani location and a literature review, aimed at exploring the effectiveness of FPE and furthers the debate on how this can be measured. The author will share results from interviews with head teachers, teachers, pupils, parents, community leaders and government officials in the location. The qualitative and quantitative data collected through interviews and observation during the research will be analysed through discussions, charts and tables. After a comparison and categorising common themes, it will be used to help in the final discussions and conclusions. While a lot of work has been written on the new FPE, it’s been argued that most of it was done either too early in the implementation or was politically tuned to give the new government some credit.
8 Chapter One 1.1 Introduction “What People can positively achieve is influenced by economic opportunities, political liberties, social powers and the enabling conditions of good health, basic education, and the encouragement and cultivation of initiatives (SEN, A 1999 pp5)”. Persistence of poverty and other unfulfilled basic needs are factors that constrain the social, political and the economic opportunities available to Kenyans. Kenyan parents place a high premium on quality education as this is seen as the only opportunity to break away from poverty. This has further been reinforced by the governments adoption of the Free Primary Education (FPE) policy aimed at the provision of education and training for all Kenyan children as fundamental to the success of the government overall development strategy. While a lot has been written by the government on the success of the FPE in Kenya, implementation problems continue to be experienced at the grassroots level. As Kenya goes to the poll yet again on December 27, 2007, it is important to examine the FPE impact and sustainability as the government is already pledging Free Secondary Education (FSE) if they remain in power. Could a shift in government affect the current funding of FPE, which is partly reliant on external donors? This research aims to review the impact and sustainability of the FPE policy in the hope that the challenges and lessons learnt can be addressed so as to retain the focus on ‘Education for All’ (EFA) as a development strategy for the nation. 1.1.1 Kenya Profile Kenya lies astride the equator and is in Eastern Africa. It lays between Somali and Tanzania and boarders the Indian Ocean. Kenya gained independence in 1963 from the United Kingdom. After Independence, the Kenya African National Union (KANU) party was the ruling party and remained so until 1992 when the country ushered in the
9 multiparty era after a lot of pressure from the opposition. Kenya has had three presidents since independence, namely, Jomo Kenyatta (1963- 1978), Daniel Arap Moi (1978- 2002) and Mwai Kibaki (2002- present). The country is preparing for polls (December 27) as this research is undertaken. President Kibaki came to power in 2002 under the National Alliance Rainbow Coalition (NARC) party. NARC achieved a solid parliamentary majority on an anti-corruption platform. Most Kenyans deemed the elections as the most credible since independence (though cases of violence and rigging were reported in places). Kibaki continued to have problems after elections due to differences in the constituent parties on the constitutional review process and sharing of power (earlier outlined in a memorandum of understanding which he disregarded after becoming president). In 2005, the NARC coalition split over these differences and a new coalition the Orange Democratic Party (ODM) was formed while others rejoined KANU. Due to further differences, Kibaki has abandoned NARC and formed a new coalition, the Party of National Unity (PNU) that consists of pro Kibaki supporters, rallying for his re- election. The population of Kenya in 1999 was estimated as 28.7 million (GoK, 1999) and is estimated for 2007 to be around 36.9 million (FRD, 2007). Kenya hosts about 160,000 refugees (UNHCR, 2007) in three refugee camps in northern Kenya, mostly Somalis. Despite repatriation efforts (in conjunction with the * UNHCR) and being in the forefront in organizing and hosting peace talks within the region, Kenya continues to receive refugees from it s neighbouring countries. The age structure in Kenya is young with 42% of its population being under fifteen years and only 2.6% are older than sixty-five years. The median age is 18.6 years (FRD, 2007). Kenya has forty different ethnic groups, which are divided into three major linguistic groups namely the Bantu, Nilotes and the Cushites. Tropical diseases like malaria and TB continue to be Kenya’s biggest health challenge. With the recent outbreaks of HIV, TB has become associated with most HIV positive * UNHCR: United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. The lead United Nations agency for dealing with refugees and internally displaced people.
10 patients. The HIV prevalence rate has decreased significantly over the past several years and the current rate of infection among adults aged fifteen to forty nine is 6.1% (UNAIDS, 2007). The National Aids Control Council (NACC) was established to oversee all interventions related to HIV after the government declared HIV/AIDS a national disaster in 1999. UNICEF (2007) puts the general HIV prevalence rate at 6.7%. In 2006, over 760,000 adults in Kenya were tested for HIV and 110,000 (35%) of those were in need of treatment (and have access to it) and it included 6000 children (UNAIDS, 2007). HIV reduces the households’ capacity to care for children. The elderly are forced to take on the orphans, thus stretching the needs of these households. The NACC is mandated with the distribution of funds to Community Based Organizations (CBO), Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) and Faith Based Organizations (FBO) countrywide in the government planned response. The government launched an education sector policy on HIV in 2004 aimed at enhancing the prevention and mitigation efforts against the impact of the illness at school, home and workplaces. Today, HIV is still a major health concern and continues to challenge and/or affect parents, teachers and students alike. By 2001, 1.5 million Kenyans died of HIV. The number is expected to double by 2010 (GoK, 2003) Migwani Location is in Mwingi district in the Eastern province. Residents of Migwani are from the Kamba tribe, which belongs to the Bantu linguistic group. It neighbours the semi arid North Eastern province that has the highest poverty rate in the country of 73 % (GOK- KIHBS, 2006). The UNAIDS (2007) estimates that 58% of Kenyans live on less than two dollars a day. Mwingi is one of the seventy-one provinces in Kenya. The government estimates the population of Mwingi district to be 303,828 individuals with a population density of 30. Migwani location hosts 56,907 individual and while the district is relatively sparsely populated, Migwani has a population density of 101 people according to the 1999 Census. 88.4 % of the Eastern Province relies on farming with 3.3 Million acres in the province under crop production (mostly maize). Residents however continue to face food poverty (ability to satisfy basic food requirements) due to failing rain seasons. Co-ordination between government and the NGOs in the district is minimal due to the limited number of the NGOs. The most prominent has been The Children’s
11 Christian Fund (CCF), which has helped in fee payment and food baskets to schools and individual student families. Two new agencies, Twana Twitu and Child Focus Afrika (CFA) have recently registered in the location and are yet to establish themselves fully in the field of child empowerment or impacting the education sector. Various residents however continue to sponsor and volunteer in these two agencies. Twana Twitu has helped raise fees for various students while CFA manages the local HIV Voluntary Counselling and Testing (VCT) Centre and engages the community in HIV counselling in conjunction with the local churches and social youth groups. The Overall poverty in Eastern province was estimated at 65.9 % in 2005 and 51.0 in 2006 (GoK,2006). Poverty in Kenya remains a rural phenomenon and Migwani has not been spared. 1.1.2 Review of the Kenya Education System Since independence in 1963, the Kenya government has faced the challenge of education system through commissions, committees and task forces. The government addresses the provision of education and training for all Kenyans as fundamental to the government’s overall development strategy. Government views education as A long term objective to provide basic quality education to enhance Kenyans ability to preserve and utilize the environment for productive and sustainable livelihoods, to develop quality of the human race; to realise the universal access to education and training for all including the disadvantaged and the vulnerable and as a necessary tool for development and protection of the democratic institutions of human rights (MOEST, 2005 pp2). The most significant government reports and commissions include The Omide Report of 1964, The Gachathi Report of 1976, Mackay Report of 1981, Kamuge Report of 1988 and The Koech Report of 2000. The initial reports aimed at policies fostering national unity and creation of sufficient human capital and were adopted from the colonial government. The reports in the 1980s were more focused on redefining education to foster national unity, social, economic and cultural aspirations of Kenyans. Issues
12 concerning education financing, quality and relevance were introduced in the 1990s. In 2000, the Commission of Inquiry into the Education System of Kenya (The Koech Report, 2000) recommended the Totally Integrated Quality Education and Training (TIQET). It outlined ways and means of enabling education to facilitate lifelong learning, national unity, and mutual social responsibility, accelerated industrial and technical development, while responding to changing circumstances (MOEST, 2005). While the government did not adopt the TIQET program, some of its core recommendations have been adopted and implemented (such as curriculum rationalization). In 2002, NARC government implemented the FPE policy, which was a campaign pledge to the voters. The FPE initiative focuses on attaining EFA and in particular, Universal Primary Education (UPE). “Key concerns are access, retention, equity, quality and relevance and internal and external efficiencies within the education system (MOEST, 2005a, pp3)”. Through the FPE policy, the NARC government is scrutinizing the current * 8-4-4 systems, which had previously been coupled with retention and reduced enrolment before it came to power. The government’s focus is also on “quality education and training as a human right in accordance to Kenya law and international conventions. The FPE implementation in 2003 is critical to attaining the EFA as a key objective to realizing the UPE goal (MOEST, 2005 pp3)”. The goal of the current government is to have education and training for development translated Elimu Bora Kwa Maendeleo. The MOEST is mandated with this mission and it works with the stakeholders, …To provide, promote and coordinate quality lifelong education training and research for Kenyans sustainable development and responsible citizenry .The ministry is responsible for providing appropriate regulatory framework, develop policies and guidelines, provide support, mobilize resources for education sector inputs and coordinate human capital development through education and training. The overall goal of MOEST and the government is to achieve EFA by 2015 in tandem with international commitments (MOEST, 2005 pp28). The current education system consists of Early Childhood Education (ECE), primary and secondary education. ECE takes one year. At the end of the primary education, pupils sit * 8-4-4 System: Current education system in Kenya that consists of eight years of primary school, four years in secondary school and then four years in university.
13 for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) prepared by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). Performance in the KCPE determines who is admitted to secondary schools. At the end of secondary education, students sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, also administered by the KNEC. The Joint Admissions Board (JAB) is responsible for selecting students to joining public universities. Students can apply directly to private universities, which are guided by the Commission for Higher Education (CHE). There are departments at the MOEST headquarters and within the Kenya Institute of Education (KIE) management that are responsible for coordinating and preparing curriculum for special needs education. MOEST also manages teacher training. “Special education suffers from inadequate funding, lack of clear policy framework, low progress in assessing and placing children with disabilities, few qualified teachers to handle children with special needs, lack of teaching and learning resources among others (UNESCO, 2006, pp28)”. Macro economic and demographic factors have an impact on the income, growth potential, population and public sector performance. They play vital roles in respect to education and training in Kenya. While they contribute to national development, they have also imposed constraints on the education sector development. The poor economic performance in Kenya has led to rising poverty levels which impact negatively on education performance indicators. The population living in poverty had risen from 48.8% in 1990 to 56.8 % in 2004 (MOEST, 2005). The government plans to reduce poverty by 50 % in 2015 as stipulated in the MDG s Economic Strategy Paper of 2003. Poor economic performance has reduced schools General Enrolment Rate (GER) from 105.4% in 1989 to 87.6% in 2002. This has risen to 99% after FPE implementation in 2003 (MOEST, 2005). A steady growth rate of 6.6% is desirable in order to achieve the MDG goals and the current growth rate in Kenya is 4.4 %. (Presidential Speech, Kenyatta Day Celebration, October 20, 2007). Schools Management Committees (SMC) feel that they are seriously constrained to improve the state of learning facilities due to the government's ban on any additional school levies. At the same time, conditions laid down to request for approvals to institute
14 new levies are so cumbersome that they hesitate to embark on the process. Nyamute (2006) notes that the current cost of FPE is beyond the normal education budget allocation. The fact that the country's economy had not been performing as expected in recent year’s means that it cannot support the realization of the UPE goals without the infusion of outside funds. Although FPE is a major step in ensuring EFA, for the country to sustain universal access, there will be a need for accelerated economic growth to generate public funds for education. Otherwise, prioritising UPE is most likely to take away from the provision for other sectors of education as well as from other social sectors, such as health. Ayieke A (2005) adds that, After the initial euphoria, it was noticed that there was lack of sustained and comprehensive communications strategy for FPE. There was lack of consultation and information on the roles of various key stakeholders. As a result of this, there is confusion amongst teachers, parents, school committee members, sponsors and local donors. At the same time, there was lack of clear guidelines as far as FPE was concerned, and many issues were rushed without these being addressed adequately. 1.2 Research Aim and Objectives The aim of this research is to assess the impact and sustainability of FPE in Migwani division. FPE has been implemented in Kenya in the past five years. The government has continuously claimed that the policy is a success and has demonstrated this through quoting the increase in enrolment figures, additional books and instructional materials in schools and the increase on the government budget towards the education sector. The objectives of the research will be to: • Ascertain how the policy has been implemented • Record the challenges and achievements of FPE. • Identify key funding sources for the policy. • Document the performance of and quality of education under the new policy, through verifiable indicators.
15 The research will review the trends and themes from the data collected during the study on available indicators on student enrolment, schools performance and funding. The research will seek to answer the following questions: • Has enrolment increased or decreased since the policy introduction and what are the causes? • How has quality of education been affected by the new policy in relation to enrolments and introduction of additional instructional materials? • What are the funding sources for the policy and what’s the sustainability? By assessing the overall impact of the policy, the researcher intends to highlight on gaps in the policy and further the debate on how the different stakeholders can perform/are performing to fill these. 1.5 Research Methodology The research paper was undertaken in two parts and does not seek to dwell on past deficiencies and inequalities (which have been sufficiently covered elsewhere). The writer acknowledges that identifying ways of improving policy and to help achieve the governments UPE and MDG goals can only be done through critical analysis of past policies and consultative approach with the communities in the study. The study comprises of a literature review carried out in the United Kingdom and in Kenya and most important, information from interviews carried out during contact with the case studies. The research started in Oxford, case studies were conducted in Kenya and the paper was written partly in Kenya and completed in Canada. To assess the impact of the FPE policy, the research required that the writer interview the beneficiaries and the stakeholders of the policy. Data from schools, government offices and reports on FPE were also a requirement, which would later assist in comparisons, discussion and analysis of the policy. These requirements led to the selection of both
16 qualitative and quantitative data collection methods. The primary data for the research was obtained from the case studies through semi-structured interviews. The author opted not to use tape recorders during the interviews, as they tend to prompt self-censoring on some respondents. By conducting face-to-face interviews, the writer interviewed seven head teachers, two deputy head teachers, sixteen individual students, two student groups (sixteen pupils each), seven community members and four government administrators. Two of the community respondents were also members of SMCs. The semi-structured interviews allowed the respondents a leeway on responses and allowed the interviewer to pickup on other issues raised by respondents while keeping research objectives in mind. Some of the students were shy and had never been interviewed before, forcing the researcher to engage more in rapport building. For these children, the free narrative approach of interviewing was used. First, the writer allowed the children to express their thoughts and experiences freely about FPE, then asked questions and clarifications later, through appropriate probing techniques. Secondary data was collected from school enrolment and funding reports, ministry of education statistics, census, legal instruments, newspaper articles and previous reports. Data collected was analysed into charts and tables for interpretation. Through comparison, interview results and data from different schools were linked together to help in identifying common themes affecting enrolment, funding and impacts on the policy. The literature review gathered from the Oxford Brookes, Macmillan and the University of Nairobi libraries plus the author’s notes are also used in the final discussion and help in making conclusions and recommendations at the end of the paper. During the research period, the writer took an internship with the UNICEF Regional Office in Nairobi. This provided the author with an opportunity to learn more about UNICEF’s interventions in the area of education and gave him access to the UN Library. The World Wide Web, the local dailies and reports published in Kenya were also reviewed to strengthen the writer’s base knowledge on the research topic. Ten selected schools in Migwani districts became the case studies for this research, which also included community members and government representatives. Migwani Location
17 has twelve primary schools, all spread within the four-sub locations. The writer visited ten schools within Migwani, covering each sub location. 1.6 Research Design The paper begins with a review of the Kenya education system after an introductory background of Kenya. It gives an overview of the political, social and economic position of the country. The background includes a brief overview of Migwani location touching on matters relevant to the education sector. The literature review leads the reader to understand the Kenya setting and the rationale behind the FPE policy. While keeping a focus on impact and sustainability, the research reviews challenges and achievements in the schools under the study. The data from different schools (through interviews, observation and secondary sources) will help in the comparative study of the effects from the FPE challenges and will later be critically analysed. Data and information gathered from the schools themselves and the government representatives’ offer the comparative component in the research and helps enlighten on the reality on the ground as set out in the discussion chapter. The writer later analyses these, comparing common themes and differences to offer recommendations. This paper will seek to positively reinforce the good practices while seeking to influence policy change on the gaps in the area of government and stakeholders’ roles. 1.7 Selection of Case Studies The research focuses on Migwani location of Mwingi district. Migwani Location has a population of 56,907 residents and is the second largest location in Mwingi after Mwingi central which has 83,000 residents (GOK, 1999). Migwani has four sub locations mainly Itoloni, Kyamboo, Kangutheni and Migwani (the largest). The schools in the study
18 represent all the sub locations, which have an average of three schools each. All school are public mixed boys and girls’ primary schools and, are day schools. One of the selected schools in the study has the only unit for special education students in the division and hosts forty-two pupils in the same compound with the other regular pupils. The schools are selected due to their ideal demographic settings as they are spread within/cover the whole region. The schools also range from newly developed schools like Kalembwa to the very old Migwani AIC School. While all schools have been adapted to government public schools now, their backgrounds range from religious, community (Harrambee), government and missionary sponsored schools. The region is also selected to re-evaluate the notion that (due to limited funding) only government urban schools suffer more due to expenses in the urban area in procurement and service charges 1.8 Limitations of the Study The first major challenge at the beginning of the research was availability of current literature on the Kenya Education system in the libraries. Though the writer had access to the best libraries in Nairobi, they did not have literature on FPE. Most of the articles and books were with the Ministry of Education and the provincial administration, but limited in copies. Through special agreements with the government counterparts and education resource centres, the writer was able to sign out books for a few days for his review. Another limitation was the fact that special authorisation to gain access to government data or conduct interviews with any of the respondents was required and this took time. The writer was repeatedly referred from one office to another, and finally to the District headquarters. The access issue was compounded by the fact that it was an election year with a few months to the polls and there was uncertainty on the government part as to how the research results would be utilised. The fact that the writer was related to a local politician of an opposition party may have also created some bias, intended or unintended. Though it took a while, access was granted and full cooperation was
19 accorded by the local administration. There are no libraries in Migwani and so the writer relied on data stored at the Migwani Resource Centre. Kambas are generally very reserved people and can be very self-censoring. It is culturally hard for Kambas to say no or give negative information about others or situations. The writer had to invest extra time in rapport building and rephrasing questions to get information from some respondents. Some pupils were very shy and could not be interviewed individually, resulting to group interviews in some schools. Another obstacle was the availability of some of the school heads, teaching staff and pupils. This was due to the on going school examinations in the region. The research was conducted in the busiest semester in the Kenya education system and in all visited schools; internal examinations in preparation for the national exams were ongoing. Some interviews had to be rescheduling while others were conducted after official teaching hours. Most of the interviews were conducted between 3.30 pm and 5.00 pm. In order not to compromise the research, very few interviews were held per day, with the writer opting to make several visits to each school until the interviews were completed. Due to poor storage, absence of some head teachers or improper filing methods, some data was incomplete lost or could not be located in some schools. Some students were interviewed at their homes and a few students at the market place. The research was also perceived, as intrusive/invasive especially when questions on funding were raised. Some respondents did not understand English and the local Kamba language had to be used. Though the writer is from the region and has a good command of the language, not all Kamba words have an equivalent English translation. It is possible that some of the expressions and information may have been lost in translation. The writer was however able to overcome all these limitations and use available data and time to complete the study successfully and achieve the research objectives.
20 1.9 Organisation of the Study The study will begin by reviewing the approaches used in implementing the FPE policy and dwell on the ongoing challenges and successes. The literature review focuses on the background of the education system and how it has changed to the current, including what factors has influenced the government stand, political pressure and need to conform to the UN to achieve the MDG. Selected cases studies will highlight the gaps in the FPE policy and how the community and schools are working together to ensure each child gets a free education. The interviews with teachers, student, parent s and community members provide views and data which has enabled the writer to arrive at logical conclusions on how effective FPE has been in Migwani, future prospects and how it fits in the governments overall UPE goal.
21 Chapter Two 2.1 Literature Review A few countries in Africa have implemented the free education policy before Kenya with mixed cases of success, problems and challenges. Some countries have challenged the policy, with Nigerians labelling UPE in the 1980 as the Unfulfilled Promise Education (Csapo, 1983). Understanding the factors that lead them to adopt this policy will be an important aspect of this study. To review the impact of the policy in Kenya, it will be vital to look at the history of the education system, the government motivation towards the policy changes, the effects on funding, access to education and the quality of education. It will be necessary also to review experiences of countries already operating the new policy. The initial adjustment and revitalisation of education in Kenya in early 1980s was due to internal and external forces. The World Bank and the international community wanted the government to cut expenditure and adhere to structural adjustments programs while the social sector oriented professionals (including teachers) wanted allocation of more resources to make education more effective (IPAR, 1999). The world conference on EFA held in Jomtien, Thailand and the Dakar Conference, in Senegal (2000) have sparked a paradigm shift in the education sector. Education quality and gender disparity have been barriers to accessing education (Boyle et al, 2002). “For every 100 boys out of school, there are 115 girls in the same situation (State of Worlds Children 2006, pp4)”. UNICEF notes sadly that one out of every five girls in school is unable to complete primary education; moreover, countries charging fees tend to have the largest number of girls out of schools (Save the Children, 2005). The government argues that compulsory FPE is the first solution to ensuring an equal chance to boys and girls to attend schools. UPE has, since 2000, been a goal for most countries worldwide. World Bank (2004) notes that when fees were abolished in Malawi (1994), enrolments went up by 51% and
22 in Uganda they went up in by 70% in 1996. Cameroon (1999) saw an increase from 88% to 105% while in Tanzania (2001); rates soared from 57% to 85%. In Kenya, the rates went up by 90% after the new policy was introduced in 2003 (MOEST, 2005). Though the government continues to quote these success figures, dropouts’ rates in public primary schools have increased due to unfriendly learning environments, poverty levels, child labour and impact of HIV/AIDS (Ayieke, A. 2005). Other factors affecting enrolment include limited number of schools within easy walking distance, absence of female teachers and failure to provide separate toilet for female students (World Bank, 2004). Limited numbers of schools offering the full cycle of primary education and perceived low returns for schooling in labour markets are other factors. The current FPE system suffers from “high rates of wastage through dropouts and repetitions (GoK, 2005 pg 3)”. Lessons from massive expansions of primary schools in the 1980s and 1990s show that expanding rapidly can compromise quality, reflected in high enrolments but low achievements (WDR, 2007). After the introduction of FPE in Kenya, an additional 1.5 million students were able to attend schools for the first time (MOEST, 2005). The World Bank emphasizes on improving the balance between expanding primary education enrolment and ensuring a minimum standard. While citing the cases of Morocco and Namibia, it stated that, “many of the large number of adolescents completing primary education do not know enough to be literate and numerate members of the society (WDR, 2007 pg 11)”. Congestion in classes, unbalanced PTR and poor infrastructure has affected the quality of education with some parents moving children to private schools. Some Kenyans believe that teachers who did not receive fees from parents did not feel as accountable for working hard (Tooley J, 2004). While the government continues to receive credit on the increase in enrolment and availability of textbooks in schools, with pupil to textbook ratio at 2:1 in some schools (MOEST, 2005), the EFA global monitor reports that the quality of education remains poor in most in sub-Saharan countries including Kenya. Nigeria has implemented FPE on and off since the 1950s and by 2003, literacy level was still at 55% (Ajetomobi J and Anyanwale A, 2005).
23 Many African countries including Kenya are heavily indebted, forcing them to devote huge portions of the tax receipts to payment of debts. This undermines their ability to finance vital investments in human capital and infrastructure. While the Kenyan government has increased the education budget since FPE to 36%, around 90% of the cost is spent on salaries and benefits, leaving very little for other essential inputs. On average, governments in low-income countries spent 34 times more on students in tertiary education than in primary education (Glewwe, P and Kremer, M. 2005). In Kenya, there are complaints that FPE is getting more attention than universities where enrolment exceeds resources and in postgraduate centres where students do not receive research grants. As table 1 show, the government is already having financing gaps and will rely on donor funding for the next three years. Table 1: Indicative Financing Gap ( * KSH Million) 2005/06 2006/7 2007/8 2008/9 2009/10 Total Net * GoK Recurrent Funding 86,792.0 91,131.6 95,688.2 99,515.7 103,496.4 476,623.9 GoK Development Funding (Net) 842.0 842.0 842.0 842.0 842.0 4,210.0 Total GoK Funding 87,634.0 91,973.6 96530.2 100357.7 104338.4 480833.9 Total Donor Funding 6,979.1 6546.5 4557.7 2350.0 1708.4 22141.7 Total Funding Available 94,613.1 98520.1 101087.9 102707.7 106046.7 502975.5 Total Proposed Investment 96,544.9 105338.0 112628.5 113343.0 115557.2 543411.6 Financing Gap 1931.9 6817.9 11540.5 10635.3 9510.5 40436.1 Source: Government of Kenya: MOEST, KSSP “Without additional investments… a quality education is difficult to achieve and dropout rates and illiteracy are likely to increase (GoK, 2005 pg 2)”. In 2005, the majority of voters in Kenya rejected a draft constitution, which could have entrenched human rights * GoK: Government of Kenya * KSH: Kenya Shilling. At the time of the study, 1 US Dollar ($)= 65 KSH
24 guarantees including education. While the previous government of Moi was targeted by aid cut offs and often because of corruption (State of the Right of Education Worldwide, 2006), it is impossible to tell whether this government will continue to receive external funding with its record. Previous school levies included, registration fees, textbooks, activity fee, caution money, payments for teachers /support staff hired by school committees, development funds, school trips, teachers tours and internal exam fees. The new policy only covers textbooks and tuition fees. While it has discouraged schools from charging other expenses, school committees are having problems supplementing these other costs. Parents have refused to pay levies due to this notion of free education. The current education is not totally free. Kattan (2006) notes that fees continue to be collected (sometimes illegally) in a third of the countries with an official policy against fees. “Because public funding was/and is insufficient to cover for direct and indirect costs of schools [in Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia and Mauritania], the definition of free education was reduced to fee free” education (Tomasevski, 2006 pg35). Kenya abolished school levies since 2003 and has seen an upsurge in GER as in the case of its neighbours; Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia and Rwanda. User fees negatively affect attendance rates in Kenyan schools with 31% of student’s absenteeism attributed to school fee related issues (Mukudi, 2004b). The World Bank urges that abolishing fees should be part of a broader government commitment to attaining FPE. As a United Nations (UN) cluster lead agency in children’s affairs, UNICEF has engaged in all means of partnership to raise awareness and fundraise for education projects. These collaborative advocacy campaigns have led to the emergence of philanthropists including, soccer players like Didier Drogba (UNICEF Goodwill ambassadors), and actor Angelina Jollie (UNHCR goodwill ambassador) and renowned talk show host Oprah Winfrey. Though they contribute to the education sector, partnerships with governments would have boosted the FPE kitty and had more impact on the new policy. Governments need complementary measures to cover costs of teachers’ remunerations and recruitment, monitoring, policy training and supply of instructional materials. UNICEF Kenya earmarked 1.5 million USD in 2007 for education related expenses as part of the “2004- 2008 country framework cooperation (Humanitarian Report, 2007 pp71: 73)”. These
25 efforts reinforce the importance of education and take the challenge to the doorsteps of governments who are obligated to developing this important education sector. The Shanghai conference of 2004 on Primary Education for Poverty Reduction concurred that most government policies on FPE were political initiatives implemented hurriedly with little time for detailed planning. Kenya, Malawi and Lesotho were cited as emergent multiparty democracies where FPE was a key election issue that propelled new governments into power. The Malawi president pushed for FPE despite opposition and suggestions that to implement it in phases. He claimed FPE would provide immediate political capital, regime legitimacy and was the surest route for the new government, which had inherited a bankrupt state to secure rapid extensive state-directed international support (Kendall, 2007). In Tanzania, zone workshops for elaboration of the poverty reduction strategy plans allowed Tanzanians a channel to express the importance of education and helped government make it a priority. Tanzanians in earlier FPE trials in 1970s had labelled the UPE policy “Ualimu Pasipo Elimu” which means Teaching without Education (Wedgwood, 2007 pg 386)”. This more recent participatory nature of decision-making in Tanzania has made parents more supportive of the system and reduced misconceptions. The Kenya government formed a stakeholder’s forum, which later formed a task force that discussed/reviewed the FPE policy and reported to the government (Tomasevksi, 2006). UPE in Kenya “was a political expediency rather than a planned education reform… as such, problems related to adequate funding allocations are being accommodated in an ad hoc manner (Mukudi, 2004a pg 239)”. The Kenya FPE raises questions of sustainability due to its lack of appropriate planning, slowness to deliver, poor quality of education and the failure to incorporate the lessons learned in the past five years. Conflict has been a major obstacle to accessing education for children. Children caught in conflicts are killed, forcibly recruited or orphaned by the death of their parents forcing them to flee. They end up in separated families, camp situations and /or traumatised situation. The first Global Consultation on Education in Emergencies was held in 2004 and was meant to provide guidelines to countries and agencies in conflict or post conflict
26 situation. On 20 November 2007, UNICEF appointed Mr Ishmael Beah (a former child soldier) as the first advocate for children affected with war. His mission is to further strengthen the voice advocating for their rights. Conflict in the Arid and Semi Arid lands (ASAL) of North Eastern Kenya is widespread and often overlaps with extreme food insecurity. It is mainly triggered by competition for resources. There is clear evidence that despite government intentions, most pastoralists’ children are not benefiting from FPE (CEMIRIDE, 2007). The government estimates 71,000 were out of schools in Turkana district, 25,000 in Samburu and 3,800 in Laikipia (IRIN, 2007). While some people view peace negotiations as priority over education to avoid wasting resources, there are questions as to “whether a standardized education system is beneficial to pastoralists and whether it would be necessary to provide pastoralists with education that suites their pastoral and nomadic livelihood system (CEMIRIDE, 2007 pg 5)”. Children affected by conflict “not only need ordinary schooling but the entire process of re- education. They tend to be ignored by ministries of education and taken up by NGOs (UNESCO 2006 pp6)”. The World Bank has supported education for all by joining programmes accredited to enhancing equality and access to education including the Food For Education (FFE) programmes whose initial success were recorded between 1993 and 2000 (UNICEF, 2006). Through the FFE program, schools receive wheat grains, which are used in school feeding. FFE has increased GER, promoted attendance and retention in primary schools. Evidence suggests that retention in schools reduces early marriages. Borrowing from these successes, the Kenya government runs feeding programmes within the FPE in schools in ASAL and implements the Extended Feeding Program (EFP) to any region experiencing droughts, famine or needing assistance. Some critics argue that the government should focus on food security projects rather than school feeding programmes. They argue that feeding children in schools only creates a dependency and most of these children eventually dropout of schools when the feeding programmes are withdrawn.
27 2.1.1 Rights of the Child “… A child means every human being below the age of eighteen years unless under the law applicable to the child, majority is attained earlier” (Article 1: CRC, 1990). Kenya recognizes a child as anyone less than eighteen years of age (Children Act, 2001). The UN General Assembly proclaims the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) as a common standard of achievements for all peoples and all nations, to the end that each individual or nation shall keep the declaration constantly in mind and strive to promote respect for these rights and freedoms and to secure their effective recognition and observance (UDHR, 1948). The Kenya law relating to education and children compliments the basic principals of the UDHR. According to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Kenya is signatory to the following legal instruments relating to the rights of the child; the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), ratified in July 1990; International Covenant on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), ratified in 1972 and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), ratified 1972. The Committee of the CRC report on Kenya (June 2007) acknowledges Kenya is also a signatory to the International Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Racial Discrimination (ICEAD), in 2001; the ILO Convention NO.182 Concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labour, in 2001; Optional Protocol on the Involvement of Children in Armed Conflict, 2002 and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention Against Transitional Organized Crime, in 2005. The common understanding within all the covenants and basic guideline while working with children is the basic principle that “in all actions concerning children, the best interest of the child shall be a primary consideration (CRC, Article 3)”. While all major
28 conventions have sections regarding the rights and obligations to children, the CRC is entirely dedicated to children rights. In most societies, children are considered as the most important members of the family. The family is considered as the basic/natural fundamental group unit of society and governments are obliged to offer support, protection and assistance (ICESCR, article 10; ICCPR article 23 and 24). Education is the key to preparing the child to an individual life, mental and social development. Per the CRC, children have a right to free and compulsory primary education (article 13) including the mentally or physically disabled (article 23). The CRC is the most ratified covenant with only two countries left to sign it. It covers issues such as the definitions of who is a child, parent’s responsibilities, right to nationality, names, education, health, legal protection and social development to protection against exploitation, and forced military enlistment/ recruitments. It emphasizes on the dissemination of information and cooperation among agencies working with children. In the region, Kenya was a signatory to the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, in July 2000. It established the National Council of Children Services in 2000, the Sexual Offences Act and the Refugee Act in 2006. The Committee on the Convention on the Rights of Children (CRC) commended these actions in its forty-fourth session as major steps towards protection of children’s rights. To achieve the rights of the children, UN member countries are currently committed (from targets set in 1990) to reducing poverty, promoting education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health and reduce AIDS and other diseases through the MDG. The second goal of the MDG is to ensure that all boys and girls complete a full course of primary education. The MDGs are commitments (through global partnership) that reinforce the stipulations in the regional and international conventions. While poor countries have promised to govern better, the rich have promised to support them through aid, debt relief and fair trade. The UN Secretary General believes that the goals are achievable through working together. The Dakar Framework for Action, conceptualized in Senegal in 2000, sets regional goals for countries including EFA by 2005 and UPE by 2015. Through regional dialogue, countries having similar problems are able to come up
29 with solutions and strategies in their own context to enhance their commitment to preserving children’s rights and promoting their development. The Education Act Cap 211 of 1968 (Revised in 1970/1980) is the main legal document in Kenya governing education. It covers administration issues, management and curriculum development. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act Cap 212 of 1967 not only covers remuneration and other admin issues but stresses on professional conduct. This act protects children from all forms of exploitation including sexual harassment. The KNEC Act Cap 225a of 1980 stipulates the conduct during public examinations, certification of schools and offers instructions on how to file complains related to review examinations adjudications among other students’ rights. 2.1.2 Free Primary Education and its Rationale After attaining independence in 1963, the prioritisation of the education policies in Kenya was driven by the manpower needs of the nation. The government identified ignorance and illiteracy as major problems and education was meant to tackle this area. This meant access to primary education. Individuals who had completed secondary education secured many government positions and were considered to be among the Kenyan elite (Oketch.O and Rollestone M. 2007). The immediate emphasis on developing secondary and tertiary level institutions to meet the manpower needs led to the need for more primary schools. Access to primary schools was limited by the colonial government and completion further hampered by the policies and compulsory national examinations as early as grade four. To gain legitimacy and as a political move to reassure the people of its authority, primary education was open to all by the new government and the grade four examinations abolished. Since then, policies have been pursued to facilitate rapid access for those who had been excluded. “Independence was the first catalyst which triggered a commitment towards UPE in Kenya (Oketch.O and Rollestone M. 2007 pp14)”.
30 The overall goal of FPE is to build the human capital capacity through investing in children at an early age. Basic skills not only help individuals but also have an impact on the income, growth potential, population and public sector performance. In Nigeria in the 1970s, FPE was driven by the need to produce skilled manpower (Kelly, G. 1983). The government realizes that education and training will contribute to national development. Economic difficulties have denied many Kenyan children education. The poor economic performance in Kenya has led to rising poverty levels which impact negatively on education performance indicators. By offering FPE the government is making a link between education and economic development. Everyone has a right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. (UDHR, 1948: Article 26) The MOEST gives guidelines on FPE policies, which are channelled down to the School Management Committees (SMC). MOEST also advises on teachers, parents and students roles. The District Education Officer (DEO) is in charge of education matters in the district and is assisted by the Area Education Officers (AEO) in the various divisions in the district. The Teacher Advisory Committee (TAC) has been set up to play an advisory role to the teachers and the SMC. Under FPE policy, the teachers’ role is curriculum implementation as per the approved syllabus. Teachers also support school management through membership in the SMC. Parents are regarded as stakeholders in the new policy. Parents are to assist in school management through PTA meetings and the board membership; they are to assist in providing physical infrastructure, which is not offered by government under FPE. Parents are also called upon to help in counselling and instilling discipline to the pupils. The SMC is responsible for managing funds, settling disputes in the school or making recommendations to the DEO, conducting tendering interviews/approvals for supplies and receiving school supplies. The MOEST gives guidelines on recommended textbooks under the approved syllabus. The DEO receives monthly enrolment figures from schools, which are then used to determine funding. Under FPE, each school receives Kenya shillings (KSH) 1,020 (USD
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