Transition rate from primary to secondary in Kenya has improved fast as a result of e Free Primary Education and Free Day Secondary Education. Subsequently, there has been a steady increase in the number of secondary schools to cater for pupils completing primary education.
As a result, the number of secondary schools increased by 11.7 per cent from 7,834 in 2013 to 8,747 in 2014 with public secondary schools accounting for the highest growth of 12.8 per cent.
The total enrolment in both public and private secondary schools rose by 9.5 per cent from 2.1 million in 2013 to 2.3 million in 2014. Total enrolment of girls increased by 10 per cent from one million in 2013 to 1.1 million in 2014 while that of boys grew by 6.6 per cent.
Even then, the survival rate at secondary school level from Form 1 to 4 declined from 90 per cent in 2013 to 88.4 per cent in 2014. Basically, the Survival Rate (SR) by grade is the percentage of a cohort of students enrolled in the first grade of a given level or cycle of education in a given school year who are expected to reach the final successive grade in that level of education.
However, the GER increased from 54.3 per cent in 2013 to 58.2 per cent in 2014. Significant improvement was also registered in the NER that increased from 38.5 per cent in 2013 to 48.3 per cent in 2014. As noted the upward trend in NER can be attributed to the implementation of Free Day Secondary Education and infrastructure development in secondary schools.
Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE): According to statistics obtained from the Kenya National Examinations Council, the number of KCSE candidates rose by 8.2 percent from 445,520 in 2013 to 482,133 in 2014. In terms of gender, the number of female candidates rose by 10.2 percent from 202,539 in 2013 to 223,237 in 2014 while the number of their male counterparts increased by 6.5 percent in the same period.
Accordingly, the number of candidates who scored a minimum university entry score of C+ and above increased by 21.4 per cent from 123,374 in 2013 to 149,717 in 2014. In this category, the number of female candidates increased by 25.1 per cent compared to that of male candidates at 19.0 per cent. The number of candidates who scored A minus and above increased by 18.8 percent from 12,490 in 2013 to 14,841 in 2014 with majority being male candidates.
During the same period, the number of candidates who scored grade of a plain increased by 12.9 per cent from 2,722 in 2013 to 3,073 in 2014 with the number of male candidates increasing by 15.0 per cent compared to an increase of 8.4 per cent for female candidates. It is also quite significant to note that number of candidates who scored grade D plain and below overall declined by 10 per cent from 141,009 in 2013 to 126,853 in 2014.
Secondary School Teachers: The total number of public secondary school teachers increased by 20.2 per cent from 65,494 in 2013 to 78,719 in 2014. The increase was attributed to the replacement of teachers who had exited the service and recruitment of technical teachers to undertake special subjects in addition to teachers who returned from study leave.
The total number of female trained teachers almost doubled to 47,701 while that of male teachers declined by 23.2 per cent from 40,377 in 2013 to 31,018 in 2014. During the same period, the number of female graduate teachers grew by 84.7 per cent compared with a decline of 22.8 per cent for the number of male graduate teachers. The number of diploma/technical teachers increased substantially from 467 in 2013 to 871 in 2014.
Although the free day secondary education programme was introduced in 2008 to increase access and enhance equity at that level, schools have continued to impose levies and other fees, ostensibly making secondary education unnecessarily expensive.
This level of education is still in dire need of basic facilities, especially for those schools that have been hived from primary schools. Upgrading of some secondary schools to national school status added pressure to improve their infrastructure.
So far, development of physical facilities has been slow, leading to limitation in the number of pupils transiting into secondary education. There are also regional disparities with high potential areas enjoying better access compared to ASAL, urban slums and pockets of poverty.
There is uncoordinated establishment of secondary schools, especially under the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) initiative.
Bursaries: The high number of most vulnerable children occasioned by high prevalence of HIV/ AIDS in some areas has caused financing gaps in the provision of bursaries given that the allocation to bursaries programme has been below the demand levels as a result of lack of funds.