Information of a general nature

The Kenyan school system

(information taken from Wikipedia)

Eight-year primary school

Especially in rural areas, many primary schools were maintained according to the Harambee principle, which means that parents financed them themselves through donations. These schools were poor in every respect. This situation only improved when in 2003 the government Kibaki fulfilled its election promise and abolished school fees for primary schools. This enabled access to education for children from poorer families for the first time. Within a year, 1.7 million more children went to school. However, there has been no investment in the education sector and the school system is barely able to cope with the increasing number of students.

The teacher-pupil ratio has deteriorated to 1:100, making good quality teaching almost impossible. Moreover, the number of teachers is continuously decreasing. And those who want a halfway acceptable teacher-pupil ratio for their children, with the resulting better learning success, and who are not content to let their children move up one grade only according to paper, are still forced to send their children to one of the many public schools for the corresponding school fees. These include numerous schools run by BIA. The operation of these schools is controversial.

Secondary schools

Secondary schools (grades 9-12) are fee-paying comprehensive schools. Their sponsors are the state, large organisations such as the churches or private entrepreneurs. The latter two are generally referred to as public schools. Because of the costs, these schools are inaccessible to large sections of the population, even if the public schools award scholarships. Some schools admit only gifted children from the slums free of charge.

Vocational training

Vocational training, as it is known in Germany, for example, according to the dual system or in vocational schools, does not exist in Kenya. There is some kind of training in the company (in-service training) or at one of the numerous private institutes in the cities. There, for example, car mechanics, hairdressers or computer specialists are trained. All these training courses cost money. A hardware specialist, for example, is trained in Nairobi for 2,000 euros in 18 months. Such training increases the chances on the free market enormously.


Kenya today has seven state comprehensive universities and a large number of colleges. Only the best students get free places at the state universities. Those who are less "good" have to rely on the fee-paying (international) private universities. Universities often lack the necessary funds, which is why strikes by lecturers or students are frequent.