Friday, November 09, 2007

How can we improve the quality of Kenyan education?

A well educated labor force is one of the cornerstone of 10%+ economic growth. It is also a force for socio-economic equaliser and democracy.
  • Social economic equality by giving all the opportunity offered via education to skill up and find jobs they can do. Its also part of trickling down the economic benefits of growth by removing costs that the poor incur.
  • Democracy because a more educated populace will be more aware of their rights.
The envisaged provision of no-fee education from 6-18 years of age in Kenya is a step in the right direction. However, it's a quantitative step and one that needs to urgently be backed up qualitative measures to ensure that Kenya's economy is getting a workforce educated to a level commensurate with its needs. One of the major complaints with the implementation of free primary school is that it has lead to overcrowded classrooms and thus unsustainable teacher:pupil ratios; diminished quality of facilities. I envisage the same issue once secondary schooling becomes cheaper. Thus schooling from primary to university may suffer unless qualitative steps are taken. A couple from me:
  1. Increase funding especially via CDF, LTAF and a special education fund.
  2. Encourage regulated private sector provision of education. They should sponsor 1 pupil/student for every 10 fee-paying ones initially
  3. Raise the cut-off pass marks at KCPE & KCSE. Note that reducing fees means that we'll now be looking at a larger population.
  4. Introduce a core number of subjects and optional subjects at both KCPE & KCSE levels.
  5. Introduce the concept of high achiever academies that will act as feeder schools for the private sector.
  6. Make commercial research institutes the backbone of science-based degrees.
  7. Channel diaspora ideas and funding into education. Not because they know better, but they like the private sector will always have a different take from those on the ground in a +ve way.
Any others?...


Ssembonge said...

Primary and secondary wise we are on track. Its the tertiary institutions of learning that have a lot of catching up to do.

The good thing is that private education is beginning to mature in Kenya. I'm not a strong supporter public funded education due to its inefficiencies.

MainaT said...

Education in Kenya is worth investing in privately.