Kenya has adopted a partnership approach to deliver education services. The partnership is between the Government, local communities, religious organisations, private investors and donor agencies. Those partners have continued to invest in education for decades.
However, the Government has over the years since the attainment of independence given high priority to education, a fact that is demonstrated by the gradual but continuous increase in the proportion of the public resources allocated to education in the budget.
The average government spending on education and training, excluding the share by households has ranged between five and nine per cent of the Gross Domestic Product. But whereas most of the funds go towards salaries and wages, expenditure has increased towards Free Primary Education and the Free Day Secondary Education. The proposal to integrate pre-primary education with primary will imply increased investment in infrastructure and teachers.
However, in view of the large public finances needed for education, the government is encouraging increased participation by the private sector in the provision and expansion of education, especially at the secondary, TIVET and university levels.
Besides, public universities are being encouraged to reduce their dependence on the government but diversify their sources of income. Universities are also expected to reduce wastage by ensuring efficient and cost effective use of institutional resources.
Amid those key policy options, the government is expected to continue to encourage and to strengthen partnerships with international agencies and local NGOs that support education.
Kenya libraries network
Kenya has a wide a wide network of libraries, but most of them are small school, college or government departmental libraries. However, public universities led by the University of Nairobi, Kenyatta University, Moi University and Egerton University have large libraries that have been established over the years. The country also has specialised libraries, most of them in research institutes and the Kenya National Museum.
Some of these libraries are depositories of special collections in agricultural sciences, animal husbandly, entomology, post management and natural sciences. However, the largest public library system is represented by the chain of libraries of the Kenya National Library Services which are found in major towns across the country.
Kenya National Library Service
This is a state corporation that runs the largest library system in the country. Its first library opened in 1967. Currently KNLS has libraries in Embu, Eldoret, Garissa, Kakamega, Kericho, Kisii, Kisumu, Mombasa, Nakuru, Nyeri, Nairobi and Thika. Collectively, KNLS has a stock of about one million books. They include general reading books, school textbooks, reference materials, maps and other special collections. KNLS has established community libraries and also publishes the National Bibliography of Kenya to provide bibliographic services and reference in the country.
Kenya National Archives Library
Kenya National Archives has a stock of over 40,000 items comprising of documents in public administration, social studies, history and library science. The library is also the legal depository for materials printed in Kenya. It has a over 20,000 classified collections of dissertations, research reports, maps, microfilm of government files, reels of tape derived from interviews on Kenya’s traditions.
University of Nairobi Library System
University of Nairobi has the largest concentration of academic books in the country. It has well-stocked libraries compared to the rest of universities in the country. Some of its libraries include Jomo Kenyatta Memorial Library at the Main Campus with more than 350,000 items that include special collection of theses and dissertations, maps, aerial photographs and unpublished reports.
The university’s Institute of Development Studies library is a depository of all papers produced by researchers and fellows and affiliated research institutions. It holds theses, dissertations, working papers and government reports among other academic items.
Other libraries of the University of Nairobi include Chiromo Campus Library that holds over 70,000 books and 13,000 periodicals most of them in sciences. Medical School Library holds over 30,000 books and a wide range of current periodicals. It has a special collection of theses and dissertations in medicine, commercial drug literature, clipping collections and slides. The university’s law collection centre has over 15,000 volumes.
American Cultural Centre Library
The library is estimated to have about 15,000 books in a wide range of subjects that include economics, literature, social sciences, ecology and environmental studies. There also reading materials on public administration and information sciences. The library has a regular supply of international and local newspapers and magazines.
National Museums of Kenya Library
The library is estimated to have a collection of between 15,000-20,000 books as well as a comprehensive of over 60,000 reprints of East African Natural History. It has stocks of unpublished reports, academic theses and dissertations.
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Library
It is known for its rare collection in recordings and national sound archives. It has a large collection of films, videos and sound effects collection.
Kenya Scientific Information and Documentation Centre
KENSIDOC is the official depository for academic theses and dissertations based on research about Kenya. Most of these are in agriculture and livestock, industrial, and medical, energy, natural sciences, engineering and technology. It has the largest scientific and technological literature in the country.
MacMillan Memorial Library
MacMillan Memorial Library is the largest public library in Nairobi. It has over 200,000items that include books, reference materials, maps, slides and reels of microfilm. The library is strategically situated at the Central Business district and is popular with students and the general public.
Other Libraries and Documentation Centres: These are some of the important public libraries in the country. A large number are established by the universities, embassies, international organisations and newspaper groups. Others are highly specialised libraries whose scope is of interest to professionals and researchers. The list includes:
- British Institute of Eastern African Library
- Central Bank of Kenya Library
- East African Herbarium Library, National Museums of Kenya
- Egerton University Library
- French Cultural Centre Library
- Goethe Institute Library
- High Court of Kenya Library
- International Centre for Insect Physiology and Ecology Library
- International Livestock Research Institute Library
- Kenya Agricultural Research Institute Library
- Kenya Conservatoire of Music Library
- Kenya National Assembly Library
- Kenyatta University Library
- Margaret Thatcher Library, Moi University
- Nation Newspapers Library
- Standard Newspapers Library
- UNEP Library
- World Bank Library