ArticlePDF Available

The issue of poverty in the provision of quality education in Kenyan secondary schools


Abstract and Figures

Poverty which can be defined in terms of extreme, moderate and relative poverty is a threat to existence of humanity in modern times especially in the developing world. Worst hit are countries in Sub -Saharan Africa. The millennium development agenda set to reduce poverty by a half by the year 2015.This expresses the global commitment in ensuring that the living standards of mankind. In Kenya the wish to alleviate poverty has been articulated since independence through various sessional papers, commissions, taskforces and development plans. Several proposals have been made in these documents on how to reduce poverty. However, the challenges of poverty still abound in Kenya. These challenges threaten provision of social services among majority of Kenyans who total about 56%. One of the basic social services which are highly threatened is the provision of quality education. This paper articulates the issue of poverty in provision of quality education. Causes, characteristics, and effects of poverty in Kenya are discussed. Indictors of quality education are discussed along with the govern-ment's efforts to reduce poverty and realize provision of education to most of the deserving citizens. Conclusions are drawn from the discussions and recommendation made on how best to address the affects of poverty in the provision of quality education.
Content may be subject to copyright.
A preview of the PDF is not available
... According to academic meditation theory, poor performance in school leads to negative attitudes towards education, which eventually results in dropout. Ndiku (2007), in his study on "the issue of poverty and secondary school dropout in Kenya," observes that most ...
... low-income families or low-income earning families lack enough amenities to support their children's education. Ndiku (2007) argues that most low-income families in Kenya do not afford electricity. Their students, therefore, do not find the light to study in their homes. ...
Full-text available
This study sought to examine the extent to which household income level influences the dropout rate from day secondary schools in Murang'a East Sub-County. This study employed structural strain theory and school dropout and poor family socialization theory and drop outing. The study took pragmatic research philosophy and a descriptive research design to study the phenomena in Murang’a East Sub-County. Using questionnaires, data relating to socio-economic data were collected from about 300 dropouts from Murang’a East Sub-Sub-County who were selected using a convenient and snowballing sampling technique. The research established that the level of household income has a bearing on secondary school dropout from Murang’a East Sub-County. The research concludes that secondary school drop outing has a significant drawback to the educational goals and objectives. Secondary school education continues to be a vital investment despite the challenge of drop out. Most of the students who drop out of secondary schools are social and economic reasons. The study recommends that the government should increase the allocations to the most vulnerable students. Also, the CBOs and NGOs to step in and offer such students the supply of social amenities such as sanitary towels. More efforts should be focused on sensitizing the importance of secondary school education and advocating for child labour to be dealt with fiercely.
... Livumbaze and Achoka demonstrated that the socio-economic status of parents had a positive effect on their children's learning outcomes in schools [19]. This means that teachers may perceive them as poor performers because they may lack textbooks, learning resources and other utilities that may impede on their learning outcomes [20]. Secondly, research studies have shown that children from poor families may be heavily involved in household chores like fetching firewood, taking care of their siblings and helping their parents with work. ...
... In developing countries, basic education is much higher than higher education [29]. Nowadays, high costs are needed to get quality education [30], so that economically weak communities cannot afford to pay it. In fact, many children do not go to or drop out of school because of poverty. ...
... In spite of the implementation of the fee-free education policy supported by an increased budged allocation for education, many SSA countries still appear to be poorer. For instance, Swaziland, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Kenya and Zimbabwe are countries where poverty seems to be increasing (Arimah, 2004;Mualuko, 2007;Polelo, 2003;Sithole, 2005). The poor state of many SSA countries is worrying when considering the massive expansion in the educational sector. ...
Full-text available
Education breaks the circle of poverty, halts the spread of inequality and creates sustainable development. However, education is expensive, creating insurmountable barriers to access in Africa. UN Millennium Development Goal 2 requested countries adopt universal primary education by 2015 in order to reduce poverty. This study assesses how policies on access to education inflenced poverty reduction in Ghana. At a higher level of education, the chances of a person being non-poor increase, and being a public servant provides an advantage in retaining a position above the poverty line compared to the people employed in agriculture. This research validates the need for Ghana to emphasize access to both primary and secondary education by providing infrastructure, free education, and training for teachers at the various level of education.
... When poverty is defined in absolute terms, the World Bank and the United Nations Millennium Development Movement defines poverty using an income threshold (at a purchasing power parity) of US$ 1 a day per person for Africa; US$ 2 a day per person for Latin America; and US$ 3 a day per person for Central and Eastern Europe [16,17]. People living below US$ 1-a-day at purchasing power parity (PPP) are considered to be under extreme poverty, whereas those living between US$ 1 and US$ 2 a day per person are said to be under moderate poverty [7,[18][19][20][21][22]. Literature suggests that there are three purchasing power parity (PPP) base years recognised by the World Bank, and that the decision on which base year to use when defining the poor remains subjective. ...
The overarching objective of this study was to assess poverty situation in Tanzania using a multitude of approach so as to provide empirical evidence of conceptual and methodological challenges encountered in poverty analysis studies. Specifically, the study strove to: (1) analyse the poverty situation in the study sites, (2) assess income inequality in study sites, and (3) determine the method that could be commonly employed to measure poverty , with a view to improve consistency in poverty statistics. A sample of 568 respondent households was involved in the study. Data was collected through household questionnaire, key informant interview, focus group discussion and researcher’s direct observations. Collected data was analysed using statistical package for social sciences (SPSS) and Microsoft excel computer programmes. Different poverty lines have provided different results regarding the number of households which are poor. Relative poverty line of 40% of the median income gave the lowest value of poverty in the study area, while the ethical poverty line provided the highest rate of poverty. Accordingly, it was found that using selected poverty lines: overall, 29.3% - 98.2% of households are poor. In rural areas, 24.5% - 96.8% of households are poor. In peri-urban areas, it was found that 20% to 100% (depending on the poverty line used) were poor, while in urban areas the poverty rate was found to be between 37.1% to 99%. Using weighted geometric mean of relative and absolute poverty lines (ρ = 0.7) at relative poverty line of 50% of median income and absolute poverty line of US$ 1-a-day (2005PPP): Overall, 53.5% of households are poor, and poverty rates in rural, peri-urban and urban areas are 55%, 53% and 46% respectively. The findings revealed further that the poverty gap ratio and severity ratio are highest in urban areas (0.35 and 0.29 respectively), medium in rural area (0.33 and 0.24 respectively) and minimum in peri-urban area (0.29 and 0.20 respectively). Household income inequality in the study area is high (Gini Coefficient = 0.773), with variations in the strata as follows: rural areas (Gini Coefficient = 0.821); peri-urban areas (Gini Coefficient = 0.574); and urban areas (Gini Coefficient = 0.717). Inter-strata inequality index in the study area (depending on the method used) ranged between 0.158 – 0.172, while inter-regional inequality index ranged between 0.004 and 0.116. Some recommendations have been put forward: Firstly, in the determination of poverty rates (head counts) the appropriate yardstick to be used is weighted geometric mean of relative and absolute poverty lines (ρ = 0.7) at relative poverty line of 50% of median income and absolute poverty line of US$ 1-a-day (2005PPP). Secondly, in the determination of household income inequality, Gini Coefficient should be used. Thirdly, the Hoover coefficient (Robin Hood Index) is a more appropriate metric for regional and inter-strata inequality.
... The findings of this study that there was need for increased support and training to teachers in conflict transformation affirms the arguments by Nicolai (2003) and UNESCO (2006) that the need to support and train teachers to participate in conflict transformation and peace building are important. According to Nicolai (2003) and Ndiku (2007) teachers are the single most important shapers of student learning and provision of quality education, therefore, well trained teachers should be availed in crisis and emergencies. This is because emergencies like violent conflict not only have many negative effects in society; they place new and different demands on children, their communities and education systems as a whole. ...
Full-text available
Violent conflicts have been on the increase in Kenya. However, despite the occurrence of violent conflicts, the Government of Kenya is committed to ensure that human societies move from violent and destructive patterns of life toward the potential for creative, constructive and non-violent capacities. This means replacing patterns of violence and coercion with respect, creative problem-solving, increased dialogue, and non-violent mechanisms of social change. To accomplish these aspects, a complex web of change processes under-girded by a transformational understanding of life and relationship is needed. Hence, a conflict transformation process which can be achieved through several processes, among them: capacity building for peace educators, curriculum developers, and trainers is imperative. This study investigated the skills, capacities and strategies required by teachers to effectively participate in violent conflict transformation in Kenya. The study adopted a descriptive design. Teachers and Education officers in Mt. Elgon District were the respondents. It was found out that for teachers to effectively participate in conflict transformation there is need to train them in relevant skills such as peace education, counseling among others. It was concluded and recommended that there was need to train teachers and support them to effectively participate in conflict transformation through peace education and other processes.
Kenya is one of the fastest countries to expand educational opportunities in Africa. Secondary schools are not equal, so that better education usually correlates to a higher school fee. Although previous studies have explained the reasons for the decreasing quality of education and the impact of that on causing inequality, it is also important to focus on the reasons for noticeable improvement in the quality of education. The objective of this study is to clarify the structure that causes inequality by revealing the self-sustaining practices for school development. Data was collected through fieldwork for a month in May 2017 in Busia county. The major participants were three public schools which were established in the same year. Semi-structured interviews and participant observation were employed in the schools and in each community to clarify the efforts made towards school development and the roles played by the communities in those efforts. Collected data suggests the correlation between the number of students and their mean scores act as key factors in school development. This correlation was achieved by community characteristics. If a school was blessed with a better community, it could easily increase the number of students and its mean score. If not, a school would be trapped in a management crisis due to both a lack of students and a lower mean score. Schools which originally depended on the geographic community presently depend on the educational community as well for their development. Educational communities in popular schools and unpopular schools are constructed by respectively positive and negative schooling decisions. Hence, a school in a poorer geographic community also suffers from the lack of a positive contribution by the educational community. That is why, it can be observed that the cause of inequality is that vulnerable students in unpopular schools are rarely blessed with resources from both the geographic and educational communities.
He has been cited by "The New York Times Magazine" as "probably the most important economist in the world" and by Time as "the world's best-known economist." He has advised an extraordinary range of world leaders and international institutions on the full range of issues related to creating economic success and reducing the world's poverty and misery. Now, at last, he draws on his entire twenty-five-year body of experience to offer a thrilling and inspiring big-picture vision of the keys to economic success in the world today and the steps that are necessary to achieve prosperity for all. Marrying vivid eyewitness storytelling to his laserlike analysis, Jeffrey Sachs sets the stage by drawing a vivid conceptual map of the world economy and the different categories into which countries fall. Then, in a tour de force of elegance and compression, he explains why, over the past two hundred years, wealth has diverged across the planet in the manner that it has and why the poorest nations have been so markedly unable to escape the cruel vortex of poverty. The groundwork laid, he explains his methods for arriving, like a clinical internist, at a holistic diagnosis of a country's situation and the options it faces. Rather than deliver a worldview to readers from on high, Sachs leads them along the learning path he himself followed, telling the remarkable stories of his own work in Bolivia, Poland, Russia, India, China, and Africa as a way to bring readers to a broad-based understanding of the array of issues countries can face and the way the issues interrelate. He concludes by drawing on everything he has learned to offer an integrated set of solutions to the interwoven economic, political, environmental, and social problems that most frequently hold societies back. In the end, he leaves readers with an understanding, not of how daunting the world's problems are, but how solvable they are-and why making the effort is a matter both of moral obligation and strategic self-interest. A work of profound moral and intellectual vision that grows out of unprecedented real-world experience, "The End of Poverty" is a road map to a safer, more prosperous future for the world. From "probably the most important economist in the world" ("The New York Times Magazine"), legendary for his work around the globe on economies in crisis, a landmark exploration of the roots of economic prosperity and the path out of extreme poverty for the world's poorest citizens.
Access to basic education inKenya: Inherent concerns. Paper presented in the first KAEAM conference
  • Jsk Achoka
  • So Odebero
  • Jk Maiyo
  • Jm Ndiku
Achoka JSK, Odebero SO, Maiyo JK, Ndiku JM (2007) Access to basic education inKenya: Inherent concerns. Paper presented in the first KAEAM conference. Eldoret, Kenya April 9 th -11 th.
Multi-models of Quality education Monitoring school effectiveness Economic Recovery strategy for wealth and employment creation
  • Yc Cheng
  • Wm Tam
Cheng YC, Tam WM (1997) " Multi-models of Quality education ". In Quality assurance in Education Vol. 5 No.I Commonwealth Secretariat (1993), Monitoring school effectiveness. London: Common wealth Secretariat Government of Kenya (2003) Economic Recovery strategy for wealth and employment creation 2003 – 2007, Nairobi; Government Printer. Government of Kenya (1999) First Poverty Report in Kenya, Nairobi; Central Bureau of statistics and Human Resources and Social Services Departments.
Progress Against Poverty in Africa
UNDP, (1998) Progress Against Poverty in Africa, New York: UNDP
Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for the period National Poverty Eradication Plan: Government Printer. Government of Kenya (1997) The Second Participatory Assessment Study
GOK (2001) Poverty Reduction. Strategy Paper for the period 2001 – 2004, Nairobi: Government Printer GOK (1999), National Poverty Eradication Plan 1999 – 2015, Nairobi: Government Printer. Government of Kenya (1997) The Second Participatory Assessment Study, Nairobi: Human Resources, Social Science Department and the Ministry of Planning and National Development.
Draft Sessional Paper on Policy framework for the Education Sector
  • Kenya Republic
Republic of Kenya, (2004) Draft Sessional Paper on Policy framework for the Education Sector, Nairobi: Government Printer.
Access to basic education inKenya: Inherent concerns
  • Jsk Achoka
  • S O Odebero
  • J K Maiyo
  • J M Ndiku
Achoka JSK, Odebero SO, Maiyo JK, Ndiku JM (2007) Access to basic education inKenya: Inherent concerns. Paper presented in the first KAEAM conference. Eldoret, Kenya April 9 th-11 th.