Kenya has failed the largest segment of its young people especially those coming from rural and informal urban areas when it comes to education.
Although the country has made significant progress in widening access to education, this has not translated into quality education for all pupils.
According to the International Center for Policy and Conflict, ICPC the education system continues to be dogged by stark inequalities, resulting in many schools being faced with chronic problems of crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, and poor educational outcomes.
The organization further states that the Kenya education system is broken and unequal. It has serious structural, institutional, infrastructural, and managerial failures.
“Kenya’s education system, characterized by crumbling infrastructure, overcrowded classrooms, and relatively poor educational outcomes, is perpetuating inequality and as a result, failing too many children, with the poor hardest hit,” notes ICPC Executive Director, Ndung’u Wainaina.
He added that for Kenya to comply with both its own constitutional and international human rights obligations with respect to education, major change is urgently needed.
The constitutional right to quality education according to Mr. Wainaina includes having a school where learners are safe to learn and have the adequate infrastructure and facilities to do so.
“This is completely missing out in the reality for many learners in the country. Kenya’s education system is almost an apartheid model. This has had the net effect of perpetuating social and economic inequalities and limiting social mobility of children especially for majority poor,” he said.
Wainaina said the deliberate failure by the government to address the structural problems is not only a question of accountability deficit only, adding that It has consequences for the life chances of millions of school-going children and the future of this country.
[ICPC Executive Director Ndung’u Wainaina. Photo/Courtesy].
He said it is crucial for the government to conduct a comprehensive needs assessment process across the country so as to ensure the government has accurate, comprehensive, and reliable data informing its decision making in order to enable public investment for equal and fair enjoyment of the right to education in the country.
“The government must develop and apply appropriate human rights compliant indicators regarding the implementation of the right to education as well as other economic, social, and cultural rights,” he added.