Free primary education policy was introduced and implemented in Kenya since the year 2003. The policy aimed to universalize education by removing tuition fee, a main barrier to children accessing education. The move saw massive in-creases in enrolments, as many children that were previously not attending school got the opportunity. While the policy was expected to benefit children that were previously left out of the education system, many children continue to be excluded from the education system. The public education system has homogenized children, pushing out those that do not fit within certain criteria. Children living in urban slums are among those that fail to benefit from free primary education, due to the homogenous and consequent inherently exclusive nature of the public education system. This has created a parallel, inferior and low quality private system of education, to accommodate urban poor children pushed out of the public education system. The goal to universalize education remains unachieved due to the failure of the public education system to adapt to the divergent backgrounds and needs of children in the country, as revealed in this study.

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Keywords exclusion, urban poor, education, Kenya
Thesis Advisor Okwany, Auma
Persistent URL
Series Population Poverty and Social Development (PPSD)
Njagi, J.W. (2012, December 14). Levelling the Playing Field or Exacerbating Exclusion?: Analysing Provision of Education for the Urban Poor in Kenya. Population Poverty and Social Development (PPSD). Retrieved from