Challenges Facing Kenyan Schools
Despite some recent improvements in public education, there are still many challenges for students, parents, and teachers. Primary schools in many small rural communities face a number of hurdles that compromise the quality of education: inadequate supplies, overcrowded classrooms, not enough teachers. While primary (K to 8) school tuition is free, students are still expected to provide their own school supplies and uniforms. And frequently there are a number of ancillary charges or fees (for example, field trips) that many families can’t afford.
Secondary schools in Kenya, while partially subsidized by the government, still have a fee structure that is out of reach for many poorer families. Even the students who are able to attend secondary often find themselves not well prepared and end up dropping out.
While most smaller rural communities in Kenya have a primary school, many don’t have a secondary school. Most secondary students, therefore, attend public boarding schools, which have higher fees. Consequently, despite passing the standardized exams at the end of Standard 8, about 60% of Kenyan students don’t continue with school because their families can’t afford the cost of going to a boarding school.