Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Public and Private Provision of Education in Kenya

Kimenyi, Mwangi
Sandefur, Justin
Volume: 22
Number: AERC Supplement 2
Pages: ii 39 - ii 56
ISSN-Print: 0963-8024
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2013

Over the past decade, Kenya's traditional model of local, community finance and management of schools has been crowded out from two directions. First, the Kenyan government has expanded its role in public education, through free provision of primary and, more recently, secondary education. Second, the market for private, fee-charging schools has grown rapidly, particularly at the primary level. We examine whether the abolition of fees presented a trade-off between quantity and quality in primary schools, comparing Kenya's experience with others in the region. We examine the superior performance of private primary schools and elite, public secondary schools in examinations and summarise research testing whether this performance reflects causal returns to these school types. Finally, we explore the potential implications of expanding public finance for private schooling or incorporating organisational structures from the private sector into public schools, making particular note of possible general equilibrium effects and political economy constraints to doing so.