Providing inclusive and equitable quality education for every child in Kenya
More than 1.2 million primary-school-age children in Kenya do not attend school.
The hardest to reach include children with disabilities, children living in pastoral and nomadic communities and in urban informal settlements.
Kenya has made tremendous progress towards increasing access to education, due to free primary and day secondary education. Despite the overall progress in access, there are still issues of inequity among marginalized groups. The Net Enrolment Ratio in primary grade stalled at 88 per cent between 2011 and 2015, and the rate is lower in Mandera and Wajir Counties, where communities are marginalized and hard to reach.
Children from nomadic communities face significant challenges in accessing quality education and are often left behind.
In the urban informal settlements providing quality education is problematic, leading to a rise in low-cost private schools that may not meet the national quality standards.
Girls continue to face barriers in their quest for an education with 40 per cent of girls living in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties not attending school.
Large numbers of children with disabilities are out of school. They are often marginalized, institutionalized and forgotten.
The 2018 – 2022 Kenya Country Programme will ensure that more children – especially girls from disadvantaged counties and informal settlements, and those affected by humanitarian crises – can access quality, inclusive, gender-sensitive education, with increased transition to secondary education that focuses on life skills for employability.
UNICEF is committed to supporting the Government fulfil its promise for education by increasing enrollment and retention of girls and boys in pre-primary, primary and secondary education, particularly in ASAL counties and informal settlements, focusing on parents, teachers, communities and other partners to support children.
UNICEF supports the Ministry of Education to improve their capacity to develop, review and implement a gender-equitable education policy – including curriculum reform, digitalization of contents to reach the un-reached and a strengthened education management information system. This will improve learning outcomes and enhance life skills that prepare students for employment.
In 2018 UNICEF supported the development of a national pre-primary education policy and standards, to help ensure high quality early learning across the country. The policy provides a legal framework for expanding early childhood development (ECD) in all 47 counties, benefiting 3.3 million 3 to 5-year-olds (49 per cent of whom are girls). UNICEF is also advocating for adequate budgets to promote universal access to pre-primary education.
UNICEF in Action, 2014 - 2018
UNICEF supported the new enrollment of over 207,300 Out of School Children (47 percent girls) into schools in 9 counties.
UNICEF provided technical expertise to the Ministry of Education in reviewing the National Special Needs Education Policy Framework to ensure that every child with disability has access to inclusive education.
UNICEF Kenya supported the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) with curriculum reform by piloting the new curriculum in 470 schools across 47 counties.
UNICEF trained over 2,700 teachers (41 per cent female) on hygiene promotion to improve pupil retention. A total of 185 classrooms were rehabilitated in 65 schools.