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Education in Kenya - An Overview

As Kenya became independent from United Kingdom in 1963 and Republic in 1964, the new government of Republic of Kenya promised free education to all. These promises are still not fulfilled up to fullest due to inadequate economic conditions.  Though Kenyan economy is strengthening and thus the education system as well. However, it will take time when Kenya will be self-reliant in the fields of knowledge economy.

Now free education is available in Kenya but classrooms are overcrowded and education facilities are not up to the mark as required.  Education in Kenya is available right from elementary schools to higher university education.   There are 5 types of primary schools in Kenya- Day Primaries, majority of schools falls under this category; Boarding Schools, classified into low, medium and high cost and Arid Zone primary schools.

Primary education made compulsory by the government.  Primary school education is also free in government schools. The harambee system plays a noteworthy role in the stipulation of Kenya's Primary education system. (In Swahili, harambee literally means pulling together.") This system accounts for approximately 75 percent of schools in Kenya. Kenya Certificate of Primary Education are undertaken at the end of primary education.

The duration of Secondary Schools in Kenya is 4 years. Secondary schools prepare students to join college / university.  Students take Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education Examination at the end of four years. Secondary education is provided though two channels, Government Aided Schools, and Harambee Schools. Government aided schools are mainly boarding schools. Which school a student will attend solely depends on performance in Kenya Certification of Primary Education (KCPE). Students who score less in KCEP exam generally attend Harambee School. These schools are less selective and constitutes to 75% secondary schools in the country.

Middle Level Colleges in Kenya offer certificate, diploma, and higher national diploma qualifications. The duration of middle level colleges is two or three years. These colleges offer Technical hands-on skills in various fields such as Engineering, Medical Sciences, education, computer Science etc. These colleges include different teacher training colleges, polytechnics, medical training colleges and many others.

Kenya has universities to provide higher education in different study disciplines, like arts, sciences, commerce, engineering etc. Minimum requirement for admission into a university is successful completion of Secondary School or equivalent.

As education demand is on a high, many industrial houses sets up private schools for providing education and many new are coming.  Private schools are mainly located in urban areas. Oshwal Academy managed by OERB is one such example.
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