2 minute read

Kenya - Administration, Finance, & Educational Research

Education Encyclopedia - StateUniversity.comGlobal Education ReferenceKenya - History Background, Constitutional Legal Foundations, Educational System—overview, Preprimary Primary Education, Secondary Education


Kenya's government is divided into ministries that deal with different government affairs. The office of the president and the vice president are in the Ministry of Home Affairs, Heritage and Sports. Each ministry has a minister, assistant ministers and a permanent secretary. In 1999 a commission on government reform was appointed to restructure the civil service in all the ministries. Before streamlining the government there were more than 15 ministries, which included: Ministry of Home Affairs, Heritage and Sports; Ministry of Finance and Planning; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation; Ministry of Education, Science and Technology; Ministry of Labor and Human Resource Development; Ministry of Information, Transport and Communications; Ministry of Energy; Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources; Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Ministry of Tourism, Trade and Industry; Ministry of Roads and Public Works; Ministry of Health; Ministry of Local Government; Ministry of Lands and Settlement; and the Office of the Attorney-General.

Sifuna (1990) reports that, in the late 1950s, the number of Europeans students started to decline in the European segregated schools as their parents left Kenya due to constitutional changes that gave Africans more power. The colonial government attempted to provide multiracial education at different levels. The first initiatives were taken in 1957 when several schools started to admit African students, including Hill Primary School in Nairobi, which was partially financed by the Colonial Development and the Welfare Fund from London; and the Outward Bound School at Loitoktok, which invited a multiracial group of students to climb Mount Kilimanjaro. Most European and Asian schools began to integrate their schools just prior to independence in 1963, admitting Africans who could afford to pay fees or qualified for government bursaries.

After independence, there was increased internal pressure for better education, which became a major political agenda along with land redistribution. The newly independent Kenyan government was faced with a tremendous task of modernizing and increasing efficiency of the government administration system that required specialized training for the developing commercial and industrial sector. This task required a high level education that many Africans did not have. Also, the government had to figure out how to manage the large, rural economy. For fear of academic education being equated to elitism, emphasis was focused on the primary and secondary levels. In developing new educational policies, the government had to deal with other factors that affected the social welfare of the country.

First, the inherited educational system had developed rapidly preceding independence. The system also had racial and regional inequalities with rigid school curriculum and examination patterns that were based on an outdated and irrelevant British model. Second, the government was faced with the need to create national unity, reinforcement of cultural identity, and reduction on reliability of foreign assistance. The third issue was economic constraints that affected the educational development.

There are aspects of educational development that have evolved with the help of foreign agencies, such as the Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), a government institution supported by the Danish government (DANIDA). The institute was formally established through legal Notice No 17 of 14 February 1986. KISE provides educational assistance to disabled children, youth, and adults. The main functions of KISE are training teachers and other personnel to work in the field of special education; functioning as a resource center for the production and dissemination of information on handicaps; offering educational and psychological assessment for children with handicaps; and administering distance education courses.

Additional topics