An Understanding of the Trends in the Free Secondary Education Funding Policy and Transition Rates from Primary to Secondary Education in Kenya

Hilda Njeri Wanja


Sessional Paper No. 1 2005 proposed a policy integrating secondary education as part of basic education in Kenya. This poses a great challenge to the country in ensuring access to secondary education for all primary school graduates since many are unable to proceed with post-primary education. Apart from the year 2004 when the rates increased to 50.5% as statistics indicate, a study conducted by Africa Population and Health Research Centre APHRC (2007) observed that the majority of children in Sub-Saharan Africa do not make it to secondary school. Analysis of Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) shows that two-thirds of all countries with secondary GER of 40% and below are in Africa. Financing secondary education is a great challenge to both governments and households. In Kenya whereas households meet negligible cost to meet primary education and about 20% for university education costs, they shoulder 60% of secondary education costs. Thus, cost is a key barrier to transition to secondary school for the poor, who form the majority in Kenya (APHRC, 2007). Since the inception of FSE policy funding there is no known study that has been done on effect on transition rates from primary to secondary schools. The purpose of this paper is to discuss effect of free secondary education funding policy on transition rates from primary to secondary sub-sectors in Kenya. The paper argues that major factors which contribute to decline in transition rates at any level of schooling include financial constraints, poor academic performances, negative attitude towards education and peer influence. The paper further presents that high inflation rates, understaffing, delayed disbursement of funds, insufficient funds, are challenges that affect implementation of Free Secondary Education policy in Kenya. As a result, Free Secondary Education negatively affects the quality of education.

DOI: 10.5901/jesr.2014.v4n1p133

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Journal of Educational and Social Research ISSN 2239-978X(Print) ISSN 2240-0524(Online)

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