An Investigation on Impact of Free Primary Education on Quality of Education in Kenya Primary Schools

Wilfred K. Njeru, Moses N. Muiruri, George M. Njeru, Ruth Thinguri


Primary education in Kenya has become a constitutional right for every school going child. This was in fulfillment of international obligations like Education for All by 2015, in order to achieve this Kenya government introduced Free Primary Education (FPE) in 2003 to achieve universal primary education (UPE) by 2005. This noble policy in Kenya benefited 1.3 million school going children who would not have afforded many levies charged by primary schools. This notwithstanding the programme was implemented without proper preparation compromising the quality of education. The study looked at the implication of text book ratio, teacher’s pupils’ ratio and teachers’ perception on the quality of FPE in Kenya. The study used survey design whereby quantitative and qualitative data was generated. The target population was 71 public primary schools in Embu East Sub- County in Kenya. Simple random sampling procedure was used to select a sample of 30% of target population. The instruments used included open and closed ended questionnaires which were administered by the researcher to the respondents mainly schools head teachers and teachers. The data was analyzed through statistical programme where percentages were got and deductions made. The study found out that FPE had improved enrolment by 68%. Over 50% reported that the text book ratio was 1:3, teacher pupil ratio was observed to be more than 1:40 in 31.8% of the sampled cases and the perception on quality was found to be good at 86.4% of the respondents. The findings recommended adequate funds should be availed for FPE programme to ensure adequate teachers and textbooks to improve quality of education in Kenya Primary schools.

Keywords: Free Primary Education (FPE), quality education, teacher-pupil ratio, text book ratio perception, pupil, teacher, head teacher


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