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Low-cost non-formal schools in Kenya: Meeting needs or exploiting needs of the urban poor?

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Abstract:

Despite the pronouncement of Free Primary Education (FPE) in Kenya in 2003, low-cost non-formal schools (NFS) continue to figure prominently on its educational landscape. NFS in this context refers to low-cost private schools not registered with the Ministry of Education, yet providing the formal school curriculum. The proliferation of these schools catering to the educational needs of marginalized children, especially in the context of free primary education clearly poses an interesting conundrum. Yet there is little agreement on what roles these schools should be playing and how far they should be emphasized. Field work for this study was carried out in Kibera and Mukuru kwa-njenga, two large urban poor communities. This paper examines the role of low-cost non-formal schools in the private provision of education and presents findings from a preliminary mapping of schools in these two communities. Using a mixed-methods approach, the research sought to understand the role and nature of these low-cost non-formal schools as well as to understand parental decision-making structures around these schools. The voices of the different key actors, namely the parents, pupils, teachers, civil society organizations, school proprietors and the Ministry of Education that inform the study suggest there is a lack of consensus around the role and function of these schools. Although NFS appear to be meeting an emergent need in the educational sector, the lack of regulation around these schools poses several accountability issues. Consequently, the exponential growth of these low-cost non-formal schools continues to be a major challenge for the educational sector in Kenya
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Association:
Name: 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society
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http://www.cies.us


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492332_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Sivasubramaniam, Malini. "Low-cost non-formal schools in Kenya: Meeting needs or exploiting needs of the urban poor?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 01, 2011 <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492332_index.html>

APA Citation:

Sivasubramaniam, M. , 2011-05-01 "Low-cost non-formal schools in Kenya: Meeting needs or exploiting needs of the urban poor?" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the 55th Annual Conference of the Comparative and International Education Society, Fairmont Le Reine Elizabeth, Montreal, Quebec, Canada <Not Available>. 2014-11-26 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p492332_index.html

Publication Type: Conference Paper/Unpublished Manuscript
Review Method: Peer Reviewed
Abstract: Despite the pronouncement of Free Primary Education (FPE) in Kenya in 2003, low-cost non-formal schools (NFS) continue to figure prominently on its educational landscape. NFS in this context refers to low-cost private schools not registered with the Ministry of Education, yet providing the formal school curriculum. The proliferation of these schools catering to the educational needs of marginalized children, especially in the context of free primary education clearly poses an interesting conundrum. Yet there is little agreement on what roles these schools should be playing and how far they should be emphasized. Field work for this study was carried out in Kibera and Mukuru kwa-njenga, two large urban poor communities. This paper examines the role of low-cost non-formal schools in the private provision of education and presents findings from a preliminary mapping of schools in these two communities. Using a mixed-methods approach, the research sought to understand the role and nature of these low-cost non-formal schools as well as to understand parental decision-making structures around these schools. The voices of the different key actors, namely the parents, pupils, teachers, civil society organizations, school proprietors and the Ministry of Education that inform the study suggest there is a lack of consensus around the role and function of these schools. Although NFS appear to be meeting an emergent need in the educational sector, the lack of regulation around these schools poses several accountability issues. Consequently, the exponential growth of these low-cost non-formal schools continues to be a major challenge for the educational sector in Kenya


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