In 2003 Kenya introduced free primary education (FPE) nationwide. While FPE has succeeded in increasing the quantity of children enrolled in school, there is widespread concern that school quality has suffered - particularly in a subset of districts. We assess three common explanations for this alleged decline: (i) the failure of school budgets and staffing levels to keep pace with enrolment in some areas; (ii) changes in the composition of students; and (iii) the loss of local accountability as school management and funding has become centralized in the Ministry of Education.
in ‘Kenya: Policies for Prosperity’, eds. Adam, Collier and Ndung’u. [Forthcoming]