Barriers to Enrolment in Kenya

Helpdesk Query:

Up to 1.5 million children do not go to school in Kenya.  What proportions of these children are expected to be out of school because of the various barriers to enrolment (eg direct or opportunity costs of education, disability, distance to school, etc)?


This report addresses the reasons why children are out of school in Kenya.  It includes sections on:

  • Proportions of children affected by different barriers to education
  • ILO report on access to education in Kenya
  • Surveys
  • Related information
  • Resources on barriers to education

Some proportional statistics on barriers to enrolment were found from differing sources.

UNICEF (2007) reports reasons for not being in school for 6-14 years olds in Kenya:

  • 21% had no money for school costs
  • 19% had to work or help at home
  • 7% said that school was too far
  • 2% reported poor quality of school as the main reason

DPMF (2009) reports that 30.3% of poor households surveyed said that inability to afford school fees was the reason for non-attendance at school in Kenya. Of non-poor households, 21.8% said inability to afford fees was the reason for non-attendance. Further references in section 2 give an insight into child labour and it’s effect on school participation.

The ILO report, outlined in section 3, gives proportional data showing reasons for absenteeism, drop-out and non-enrolment for 3 districts in Kenya. Reasons for non-enrolment are:

  • 68.7% lack of funds
  • 7% few admission slots
  • 6.1% father/guardian ignorance
  • 5.2% under age
  • 4.3% distance to school
  • 2.6% mental handicap
  • 2.6% decision of the father

Full Report: Barriers to Enrolment in Kenya- June 2010 [PDF- 286 KB]

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