Free Primary Education in Kenya and its challenges in fighting Illiteracy

Fredrick Wawire Otike, Beatrice Kiruki


For a country to realize full economic potential education is paramount. A population with ability to read and write compounded with technology savvy is key ingredients for growth. One of the pillars identified in the MDG is among others universal primary education for all. It is within this pretext that the government of Kenya introduced free primary education in Kenya. The main aim of introducing free primary education was to fight illiteracy; five years down the line a lot of facts still have to be addressed so that the appropriate scheme could be addressed in real time to fight the real problem at hand. Though a noble gesture, it has had its share of challenges and pitfalls. The current study highlights the challenges of free primary education in fighting illiteracy. Some of the challenges identified included Under Staffing, Poor working conditions, inadequate funding, Kenya's primary Education system and acquisition of literacy and Lack of school libraries.

The study concludes that a clear policy on FPE implementation that defines the roles and responsibilities of different stakeholders must be stipulated. For the program to succeed there must be continuous dialogue with stakeholders such as parents, school committees, and local communities to inform them from the onset of their specific roles in supporting the policy.

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