Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Impact of Free Primary Education in Kenya: A Case Study of Private Schools in Kibera

Lookup NU author(s): Professor James Tooley, Professor Pauline Dixon, Dr James StanfieldORCiD


Full text for this publication is not currently held within this repository. Alternative links are provided below where available.


Free primary education (FPE) is widely assumed to be required to ensure that the poor gain enrolment. After the introduction of FPE (from January 2003) in Kenyan schools, huge increases in enrolment were officially reported. However, our research, conducted 10 months after the introduction of FPE in and around the informal settlement of Kibera, Nairobi, suggests a less beneficial outcome. Although enrolment had increased in government primary schools, this needs to be balanced against a much larger reported decrease in enrolment in private schools in the informal settlement-the research found 76 private schools, enrolling 12,132 students, which are not on the official list of schools. Moreover, focus groups with parents reported dissatisfaction with government schools, and satisfaction with private schools, since FPE. The findings point to an alternative route to ensuring 'education for all', by embracing, rather than ignoring, the role currently played by the private sector. © 2008 BELMAS.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Tooley J, Dixon P, Stanfield J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Educational Management, Administration & Leadership

Year: 2008

Volume: 36

Issue: 4

Pages: 449-469

ISSN (print): 1741-1432

ISSN (electronic): 1741-1440

Publisher: Sage Publications Ltd.


DOI: 10.1177/1741143208095788


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric