Understanding the uptake and patterns of school enrollment after the introduction of the Free Primary Education (FPE) in Kenya.
Key findings from the report:
- Teacher knowledge – measurable competency levels
- Teacher work assignments – competency based
- Teacher professional development – lesson observation
- Teachers’ measurable annual teaching/learning goals
Frequently Asked Questions
Your study indicates that a large number of children in slum areas are learning in schools other than the free public schools. Is this something that is true only for the slums or is this the same in other parts?
Our study was primarily focused on informal settlements or slums in six towns across the country and so it would not be easy for me, especially as a researcher who relies on scientific facts and figures, to make guesses about what is happening in other parts. What I imagine this means is that we need to carry out a study across different social strata to be able to make comparisons. For the moment however, this data is indicative of informal settlements in Kenya
Why are poor parents opting to take their kids to schools that charge fees and ignoring the free public schools?
Our data does not directly say why the parents are doing this although our findings on other parameters such as performance and teaching practices could give us an idea about what is going on. Given the performance of children in public schools vs. those in private schools, we could deduce that parents are worried about the quality of the education their children are getting in the public schools. It could also be an issue of access; that there aren’t enough public schools in slum areas to meet the needs of the community.
What can be done to change this trend? How can we ensure that more children from slum areas are able to access FPE?
There are several recommendations that are made in the study on how this can be done. One of them is to ensure that the ministry supports the low cost private schools in slum areas through financial and technical support that would help them avail FPE to the children living in these areas. This would be an excellent example of public private partnership or PPP.
Is the idea that teachers cannot pass a subject they are supposed to be teaching mean that there is a problem with the way teachers are trained?
Our study makes it clear that while these teachers may fail in one subject, they are excellent at teaching another subject. What this means is that they are not necessarily bad teachers, just bad in particular subjects. Our study recommends having teachers teach subjects that they are good at.
Has this information been shared with KNUT or TSC? What has been their response?
Yes we have shared the report with KNUT and TSC. We have also made presentations of the report at the KICD and the Ministry of Education. Their response to our findings and recommendations has so far been positive.