Event: Nov 21 - Round Table on basic education in Kenya

Development Initiatives – Africa Hub is convening the next Africacounts Roundtable Forum on Thursday 21st November, 2013 at the Laico Regency Hotel – Nairobi from 0800hrs to 1630hrs.

The round table will bring together education sector stakeholders (from the private sector, ministry of education and other related government departments, the media, educationists, development partners, academia as well as CSOs) to discuss accountability and its implications on learning outcomes in basic education in Kenya. The forum will specifically:

  • Discuss access to information and management of resources for basic education in Kenya
  • Interrogate the rise in teacher absenteeism in Kenya and explore mechanisms for dealing with it
  • Explore prospects of the one laptop per child programme for improving learning outcomes

The forum aims to track progress in basic education and explore mechanisms for leveraging accountability to improve access to and quality of basic education in the country.

To attend:

Please register on Eventbrite here.

Background information

Despite receiving one of the largest outlays of public resources over the past decade, (average 18% of total government spending), basic education performance in Kenya has remained unsatisfactory (Rono, 2012). Evidence adduced by Uwezo Kenya (2012) indicates that learning outcomes are low; 7 out of 10 children in class 3 cannot do Class 2 work and over 10% of children in Class 8 cannot do simple class 2 mathematics.

Research by National Taxpayers Association (NTA) has also shown that parental involvement and performance of school management committees among others have a direct bearing on learning outcomes (NTA, 2012). Beyond increments in enrolment and teacher-pupil ratios, the education system appears largely  exam-centric, characterised by memorisation and regurgitation, and devoid of creativity, critical thought and complex reasoning that is more useful for innovation (Abagi, 2013; Awiti, 2013). Little emphasis is put on inculcation of practical skills necessary for economic development (KIE, 2010).

Stakeholders in the education sector in Kenya argue that a lot of the inadequacies and underperformance in the sector is largely attributable to insufficient accountability. In fact, there is increasing empirical evidence indicating that for education service delivery to improve outcomes in literacy and to enhance other positive externalities crucial for driving economic growth and poverty reduction, the issue of accountability must be aptly addressed (Kimenyi, 2012). Dessy, Nannyonjo and Vencatachellum (2012) established in their study on service delivery reforms in Africa that government spending does not necessarily translate into better outcomes. Oriakhi (2006) established that in Nigeria, despite allocation of large amounts of resources to education, satisfactory outcomes were still elusive in the absence of effective accountability mechanisms.

About this event 


Development Initiatives – Africa Hub holds the Africacounts round tables. The Round Tables are multi-stakeholder forums designed to stimulate constructive dialogue and effective partnerships amongst civil society, media, government and academia to influence resource allocation and prioritisation of poverty eradication in the East African region.

Recent Africacounts Round Table Forums explored: 1) The prospects of East Africa’s natural resource finds, 2) The state of Social Protection in East Africa, 3) The progress of the Kenya Open Data Initiative, 4) The Open Development Movement in Uganda and 5) Devolution in Kenya’s health sector.