NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 3 – One of former President Daniel arap Moi’s best known legacies is ‘Maziwa ya Nyayo’ but his successor Mwai Kibaki took it a notch higher with Free Primary Education (FPE); whose first beneficiaries had their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results released on Tuesday.
Out of the 483,620 who sat the exams, 149,717 attained the minimum university entry grade of C+ and above – a five percent increase compared to 2013.
Theirs also represented the highest increase in the number of candidates who sat the exams in the last three years with an 8.3 percent increase when compared to the year before.
The release of their KCSE results was another first as they and their schools were not ranked as has been the tradition.
And in honour of Kibaki’s efforts to make education universally accessible for all Kenyan children regardless of their economic backgrounds, Education, Science and Technology Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi reiterated that President Uhuru Kenyatta’s government was committed to steadily increasing the capitation per student in public school as it had done in the last financial year, over the next three years.
“We have increased the capitation for primary education by 39 percent. For the free day secondary school we have increased it by 33 percent and you’ll see education in the next three years will be truly free,” he told Capital FM News.
A capitation increment that was described by the Kenya National Association of Parents Chairman Musau Ndunda as “a big milestone.”
“For the first time in 2014 following the introduction of free primary education, they (government) increased capitation in public primary schools by Sh5,000 and Sh3,000 in secondary schools,” he appreciated.
Kaimenyi said the government decision to foot the examination fees of those sitting for their KCSE examinations next year was further proof of the national government’s commitment to make education “truly” free.
“You cannot claim to have free primary education and free day secondary education when you’re charging examination fees,” the Kenya National Examination Council CEO Joseph Kivilu supported.
But even with these strides toward the realisation of the constitutionally protected right to education, questions have arisen over the quality of the free education given resource limitation in the number of public school teachers as well as infrastructure.