Education has been found to have positive effects in the reduction of poverty. In both rural and urban areas, the level of education of the household head is related with the incidence, depth and severity of poverty. In Kenya the poor are disproportionately less educated and less skilled than the non poor. Again the poor are more likely to be unable to access social services such as treated water, adequate sanitation, medical services and other services. Other characteristics of the poor include landlessness, reliance on subsistence farming and large households. The government of Kenya has in the recent years introduced a number of poverty reduction interventions targeting households and the education sector. The introduction of free primary education in Kenya in 2003 led to increase in primary school enrolments but still there many-school going age children (most of them girls) who are out of school. Kenya’s informal settlements are home to thousands of low income households and some of the schools that serve these areas are not supported by Free Primary Education grants resulting to poor capacity to serve the targeted children.This paper looks at the implementation of education and poverty reduction strategies by officials in provincial and district education and highlights how difficult it is for them to maintain a focus on gender equality. Based on qualitative and participatory research it explores the challenges of linking gender, education and poverty reduction.
UKFIET international conference on education and international development : politics, policies and progress, Oxford, 15-17 September 2009.