As a result of the Government’s commitment to provide education to its citizens, the pre-primary education sector continued to make some progress in terms of rise in enrolment levels, increase in the number of teachers and early child development (ECD) centres.
Pupil enrolment in Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres grew by 3.5 per cent from 2.9 million in 2013 to three million in 2014. Similarly, the total number of ECD teachers rose from 101,062 in 2013 to 104,784 in 2014, an increase of 3.7 per cent.
Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) – which is the total enrolment in a specific level of education, regardless of age, expressed as a percentage of the eligible official school-age population corresponding to the same level of education in a given school year- increased from 71.6 percent in 2013 to 73.6 percent in 2014.
The number of trained ECD teachers increased by 5.2 per cent from 83,814 in 2013 to 88,154 in 2014 mainly due to an increase in the number of female trained teachers which grew by six percent.
Similarly, the number of ECD centres rose from 40,145 in 2013 to 40,219 in 2014, representing a marginal increase of 0.2 per cent. The number of public ECD centres in 2014 stood at 24,768 compared to 15,451 private ones. But whereas the total recurrent budget on education is expected to rise, recurrent expenditure on pre-primary education is expected to decrease mainly due to transfer of pre-primary education function to the county governments.
Although the Constitution assigned Early Childhood Development and Education (ECDE) to county governments, the Nation Government is keen to integrate pre-primary education into basic education format.
The aim towards this goal is too mainly to improve quality of ECDE in all public schools, increase access, and improve sanitation and health status. Currently, access and equity of education services at ECDE level, are constrained by various factors which include insufficient number of trained teachers and care givers, inadequate number of pre-primary and day care centres, limited availability of teaching and learning and play materials, limited community participation, inadequate nutrition and limited health support services.
Despite the government providing grants to communities to procure instructional materials, infrastructure development and to top up salaries for teachers in selected public pre-primary schools, these grants have not been adequate.