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Nonformal Education

Nonformal education (Elimu ya Gumbaru) was previously under the Ministry of Social and Cultural Affairs, but was moved under the Ministry of Labor and Human Resource Development. There are other nongovernmental agencies (NGO) that serve as nonformal education resources, such as the Ministry of Culture and Social Services, which was created to provide services to help eliminate illiteracy among Kenyan adults.

During the fifteenth anniversary of Kenya's independence in 1978, President Daniel Arap Moi decreed that a national program be launched to eradicate illiteracy. The Department of Adult Education in the Ministry of Culture and Social Services was then established to spearhead the promotion of literacy and adult education. It included 3,000 full-time adult education teachers. Another 5,000 part-time teachers and many volunteers provided their services after short induction training courses in adult education. Since most adult education teachers had not received adequate training as teachers per se, the training courses helped prepare them to become effective facilitators in the literacy and adult education program. The courses for adult education teachers were a joint venture between the Kenya Institute of Education, the Department of Adult Education, the College of Adult and Distance Education, and the University of Nairobi (kenyaweb.com 2001).

The University of Nairobi has a faculty of external degree studies program that was established in its distance teaching program in 1985. The faculty is part of the College of Adult and Distance Education (CADE), which is one of the six colleges of the University of Nairobi. It is located at Kikuyu Campus outside of Nairobi. The program started within the Department of Education to train teachers in arts and later in science subjects. There are future plans to include implementation of legal and business studies. The University of Nairobi faculty also assists with the training of staff who work in the program, along with other organizations that are involved in distance teaching programs, such as AMREF (African Medical Research Foundation), Kenyan Cooperative College, and INADES Formation, which respectively provide courses for health workers, cooperative personnel, and farmers.

The staff of the faculty of external degree studies have also organized training in several countries in Africa including Zambia, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Somali, Botswana, Mauritius, Tanzania, and Swaziland (kenyaweb. com 2001). Specific program objectives of the external degree studies program are to provide learning opportunities for those aspiring Kenyans who cannot secure places in the existing internal faculties of universities; an alternative and innovative method of learning; an opportunity for people to learn at their own pace; and an opportunity to maximize the use of limited educational resources by making university education available beyond the lecture halls. Courses taught in the distance education mode include the bachelor of education (arts), bachelor of education (science), and a postgraduate diploma in education.

Arts courses include subjects in education, geography, mathematics, economics, business studies, history, religious studies, English literature, and Kiswahili. Science courses include biology, chemistry, physics, and home science. The program takes six years to complete. Entry requirements for the degree program are the same as for the rest of the University of Nairobi. All students with prescribed entry qualifications for admission are eligible. Applicants for the postgraduate diploma must hold a degree in at least two teaching subjects and have a minimum of two years teaching experience.

The academic year consists of two semesters of 13 or 15 weeks, with the year beginning in June. External students are expected to take examinations at the same time as internal students. These examinations are usually taken at the end of each academic year. External students need to notify the dean of the faculty at least three months in advance if they are ready to take an examination in any of the units they have studied.

Unit cost per student is usually estimated at being 14 percent less than it is for internal students. The classes are taught in English.

Additional topics

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