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22 Factors that affect the quality of education in Kenya

posted Jan 20, 2015, 10:53 PM by Maurice Nyamoti   [ updated Mar 14, 2015, 10:23 PM ]

22 Factors that affect the quality of education in Kenya

Kenyan education has come under scrutiny in recent times. Critics of Kenyan education system have points to proof and these points seem more genuine and factual. Kenyan education more or less has lost its value due to a number of reasons some of which I have illustrated below. However, drastic changes are needed to uplift the standards of education in this region if Vision 2030 blue print is to be realized to put Kenya into a middle level income country. Therefore I would like to challenge all education stakeholders to consider revising ways of making Kenyan education more relevant and competitive to challenge for industrialization, integrity, knowledge and modern research. Below is an illustration of problems facing Kenyan education sector at its entirety:

1.    Partly Irrelevant Curriculum and Syllabus

The objective of any education system is to address problems facing the society at that particular time and preparing scholars for the future. However Kenyan education is different in all perspectives. The problems education is supposed to help address like integrity issues, Poor Agricultural production, control of diseases etc. have been advancing for the worst since independence. Thus, curriculum developers need to adopt new concepts of making education more relevant to the society.

2.    Poor infrastructure for public schools

Public schools especial primary level public institutions have poorly developed infrastructure. Secondary day schools and some other boarding schools, technical institutes and universities rarely develop their infrastructure that can influence the learner's environment. Therefore, all schools and colleges should be assisted by the government and public to develop modern infrastructure which is instrumental for the development of technical subjects and sciences

3.    Insufficient allocation of funds for Education Ministry by the executive

Even though the Ministry of Education takes the lion's share of the Government budget, This amount is comparatively not enough to run the education sector. Where there is adequate allocation of funds in the education sector, other key sectors also improve. Therefore: the executive and parliament have a duty to respond positively on this fact.

4.    Poor Motivation of Students

Bright students especially from poor families are never motivated as required. Bursaries distributed by the County and National Government eventually go to educate children of rich politicians and their sycophants. There is also need to develop a high institution of technology to admit bright students and get the best out of them. Just like Harvard of USA 

5.    Poor Motivation of Teachers

Teachers, who are the custodians of education in Kenya are never treated equally with other Government officials. Either, draconian laws are made to suppress them, they are rewarded with poor wages by the Government and some of them have more financial problems than even the students that they teach. A Kenyan Teacher is overlooked by other members of the society and their status has depleted in recent times to the level lower than expected. Thanks to un-thankful society, employer and pathetic working conditions.

6.    Stereotype Bureaucracy

Contemporary stereotypes of bureaucracy tend to portray it as unresponsive, lethargic, undemocratic, and incompetent. Bureaucracy is an enemy of creativity and Kenya has education officials who are too bureaucratic that they cannot see anything reasonably beyond new and fresh ideas and are failing the education sector. Even though bureaucracy has its own advantages, Creativity and innovations should be given room to try fresh and new ideas that can drive education into the next level.

7.    Exams Cheating

Exam cheating in Kenya has now evolved into a culture of cheating in examinations. This new adopted culture is taking the Kenyan education sector into its death bed. And if nothing will be done by laws legislatures to reverse this satanic virtue, then Education in this country will have no meaning at all.

8.    Corruption

Corruption is rampant in Kenya and education sector has not been left behind. Corruption hinders bright students of poor families from accessing better schools, it kills integrity and accountability in schools as it also produces future corrupt workers.

9.    Social Classes in Kenyan Society

There are so many social classes in Kenya eg. Wealthy class, Religious class, Learned class, Political class etc. who educate their siblings in schools that correspond to their social classes. Education is supposed to make us equal and if it splits us, then we have no reason to be educated.

10.    Direct interference by school sponsors

In most cases, Kenyan education is sponsored by churches, however these churches put draconian rules in place to disadvantage other students from different denominations. thus complicating learning issues or they directly interfere with daily learning of schools creating a contemporary unease situation to school managers

11.    Laxity of cooperation by parents and other stakeholders

Parents, who have also learned to hate teachers, have left every aspect of child development for teachers to handle. From discipline, counseling, academic to some home matters have been dedicated to teachers to handle. This creates a situation of burdening the teacher with all responsibilities

12.    Excessive empowerment of students at the expense of teachers

Students in Kenya have better and more advantageous Government protection than teachers. They have more rights and influence education ministry more than teachers. This has created fear among the teaching fraternity as teachers tend to keep distance from students in protection of job security. This has damaged the inter student-teacher relationships making learning environment more straining.

13.    Poverty

Poverty has slowed down the education sector tremendously. With some students coming to school hungry, without sanitary pads or without teaching resources and dressing code, poverty is a major contributor of deteriorating education standards

14.    Sex Crimes

Some teachers in Kenya are sex predators. They prey their students for sex and eventually spoil their future. Also parents and the society at large have a tendency of preying underage scholars for sex. Strict laws need to be at place to stop this menace.

15.    Press, Drugs and Alcohol

Internet content, drugs, alcohol and uncontrolled press are also to blame for poor education system in Kenya. What the press promotes and the effects of alcoholism and drugs also contents readily available in the internet are killing education standards in this country.

16.    The system does not recognize the value of education

Kenyan system promotes thugs, corrupt officials and criminals at the expense of the learned elite. This kills motivation in learning institutions

17.    Political Interference

Political interference in learning institutions especially running of institutions is killing the quality of education offered.

18.    Improper commercialization of  schools

Looking at the number of fake schools and colleges present in the country, one cannot dispel the fact that education in Kenya is headed for a nose dive. These colleges offer fake certificates and unqualified learning environment

19.    Insufficient or improper laws to control the education sector

There are  no proper laws in place to control the education sector in Kenya and that is why Kenyan education problems are multiplying year after another

20.    Retrogressive Traditional Cultures

Some African cultures practiced by some communities are not for education progress. Like early marriages and pastoralism practices that keeps away children from class

21.    Over reliance of foreign ideas and methods

Kenyan education syllabus is over reliant of foreign input and therefore it does not address the problems we have at home. This makes it even more irrelevant

22.  Inadequate and poor funded research institutions

Our education research institution are poorly funded. For education to develop, it must be powered by research institutions which provide scientific tools to rely on when making educational policies. Research centers are the backbone of any country's economic and educational prowess thus need to be taken more seriously.
Maurice Nyamoti is IT instructor and Founder of
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