Kenya: UN Committee on Rights of the Child concerned over increased use of "sub-standard" private schools, some for-profit

Author: East African Centre for Human Rights, Economic & Social Rights - Hakijamii, Cradle - the Children Foundation, Kenya National Union of Teachers, Intl. Commission of Jurists-Kenya, Global Initiative for Economic, Social & Cultural Rights, Published on: 9 February 2016

"The United Nations raises alarm about the lack of regulation and donor support in education in Kenya"

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC) published last week a report [available here] assessing the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child by the Government of Kenya...[and] expressed its concern about the “Low quality of education and rapid increase of private and informal schools, including those funded by foreign development aids, providing sub-standard education and deepening inequalities”.

Further, the CRC urged the Kenyan Government to “Guarantee the legal right to free mandatory education for all, without direct or hidden costs”. It insisted that Kenya should, in doing so, “prioritize free primary quality education at public schools over private schools and informal low cost schools and regulate and monitor the quality of education provided by private informal schools in line with the Convention.”

According to Abraham Ochieng, from the East African Centre for Human Rights, “the mentioning of schools funded by foreign development aids offering substandard education in the CRC Concluding Observations demonstrates once again that achieving free quality education is a huge issue, in a context where some international donors such as the World Bank and the British development agency fund private fee-charging schools in Kenya”. 

Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion insisted “In the last years, we have witnessed a growing support of the authorities to private schools, including private multinational companies that come to make profit out of poor Kenyan children...”

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