Following the 2007 presidential election, the Government of Kenya abolished secondary school fees in 2008. In the context of this significant change in policy, this study examines the effect of fees on transition to secondary schooling by following 109 primary school leavers in rural Kenya after the fee abolition, starting in 2007. The study draws on survey data with multiple interviews and finds that the abolition of school fees had limited effects on children from low-income families. The study concludes that although there is a high demand for secondary education in general, whether primary school leavers from low-income families actually enrol in fee-free secondary education depends largely on other direct costs and opportunity costs and their perceived economic returns from such education.
International Journal of Educational Development (2011) 31 (4) 402-408 [doi:10.1016/j.ijedudev.2011.01.009]