Two ministries are responsible for education, training and research — the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. Other ministries co-ordinating education programmes are Labour, Youth Affairs and Sports, Local Government and Gender, Children and Social Development. The education system comprises pre-primary, primary, secondary, university, technical and vocational training, and adult literacy and continuing education. There are also post-secondary education programmes, such as teacher education. Kenya also has a robust private education system in which students pick either the 8-4-4 or the International General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE).
The two ministries carry out their work through nine directorates, two autonomous and 10 semi-autonomous statutory organisations, Provincial Education Boards (now renamed County Education Boards) and District Education Boards. The Ministry of Education is responsible for early childhood education, primary and secondary. It has five directorates that include basic education, secondary and tertiary education, quality assurance and standards, policy and planning and, adult and continuing education. The Ministry of Higher Education Science and Technology is responsible for higher education, science and technology, technical education, promotion of research, technology and innovation policy, and research authorisation, inventory and dissemination. It has four directorates — Higher Education, Technical Education, Research Development and Management and Technical Accreditation and Quality Assurance.
The aim is to enhance access and equity to attain Millennium Development Goals by 2015. Some of the strategic objectives include Free Primary Education, increase enrolment in Early Childhood Education and inclusion of students with special needs. The directorate’s units are: Early Childhood Education, Primary Education, Special Needs and Non-formal Education and Primary Teacher Education.
The directorate runs secondary education. Its main objective is to increase access and participation, reduce cost and improve the quality of management. It supervises allocation of secondary education bursaries to needy students in addition to implementing the free tuition secondary education. It has the power to implement affirmative action in secondary schools and ensure the school environment is inclusive and gender responsive.
Quality Assurance and Standards
Provides quality assurance and standards assessment to schools and includes monitoring and supervision of curriculum delivery and evaluation. The unit monitors the performance of teachers and education officers. It organises in-service training for teachers and education managers in conjunction with other agencies. Other duties include equitable distribution of teachers and organising co-curricular activities in schools.
Policy and Planning
It coordinates projects, education planning and education expenditure review. The directorate also generates statistics. The Education Management Information System (EMIS) is one of its key divisions. It is also in charge of the HIV/Aids control unit that includes guidance and counselling and coordinates the integration of information and communication technology in education.
Adult and Continuing Education
The main objective of the directorate is to coordinate adult education programmes. It has also the mandate to establish and supervise adult education centres. It recruits adult learners through publicity and advocacy campaigns highlighting the importance of education. The directorate works with stakeholders many of which are nongovernmental organisations. It reviews and updates adult literacy curriculum from time to time. It provides regular in-service training to adult literacy teachers and helps communities establish centres. The objective is to establish at least four centres in every sub-location before 2015.
The directorate is in the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology and its main function is to review policies in collaboration with the Commission for Higher Education, Higher Education Loans Board and stakeholders. It also coordinates plans and budgets from public universities jointly with the Commission for Higher Education. It has the mandate to initiate, promote and implement cultural, technical and scientific cooperation with other countries in liaison with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It disburses grants and bursaries to local and overseas universities. It appoints education attaches to Kenya missions abroad, co-ordinates student exchange programmes for university students and clearance of students proceeding for university education abroad.
This directorate — which is in the Ministry of higher Education — Science and Technology, is in charge of technical, industrial, vocational and entrepreneurship training policy, curriculum development, registration and supervision of post-primary and post- secondary technical and vocational education. Institutions under the directorate include Kenya Technical Teachers College, national polytechnics, technical training institutes, institutes of technology and related institutions.
Research Development and Management
Its main objective is to provide guidelines to the national research and innovations system policies. It identifies and monitors research projects that could be integrated into the national production systems and processes.
National Council for Science and Technology
A research database by the National Council for Science and Technology is being finalised and will be available online. Plans are also underway to restructure the council so it can carry out its functions more efficiently. Besides, the council provides research, science and technology accreditation and standards.
Technical Accreditation and Quality Assurance
The directorate was set up recently at the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology to formulate and implement a credit transfer policy, supervision of training practices,programmes and co-curricular activities, promoting standards for technical training and industrial attachment. It also approves technical materials and textbooks, TIVET curriculum development, monitoring and implementation, administration of technical and business examinations in technical institutions and setting standards for technical and business examinations. The directorate registers TIVET institutions, develops and coordinates standards and programmes and sets standards for implementation of curricula, inspects institutions for registration, develops specifications for training equipment, classrooms, workshops, libraries and student enrolment guidelines and sets admission criteria for students.
County Education Boards
Provincial Education Boards implement policies and administration at the provincial level and coordinate education programmes to eliminate duplication. With implementation of the new Constitution, Provincial Education Boards will be dissolved and their role taken over by the County Education Boards (See Education policy reforms)
District Education Boards
They have jurisdiction over primary schools. Their chief role is to manage education services and teachers. District Education Boards have authority over school audit, accounting, quality assurance and resource mobilisation. They have powers to receive grants-in-aid from the public or local authority and to use such funds for approved projects. With implementation of the new Constitution, district education boards could share their roles with County Education Boards (See Education policy reforms).