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Expand the free primary school programme to include free day public secondary schools in Kenya

  • When made: 2017

  • Where made: Party manifesto


In 2016, there were 2.72 million students enrolled in Kenya's secondary schools, according to the 2017 Economic Survey. Providing tuition only, with no lunch or uniform, at KSh22,244 per student (the approved rate by the education ministry) comes to KSh60.5 billion.

Africa Check calculated the cost of free day secondary education including the cost of uniform and lunch. It comes to KSh36,787 per student, meaning the total annual amount for all secondary students would be KSh100 billion.

In its 2017 budget speech, the national treasury allocated KSh33 billion in the 2017/2018 Financial Year for free secondary education.  According to the December 2017 Treasury Sector Report, the following are the amounts spent on free day secondary education:


Year (KSh billion) No.of Schools No.of Students
2014/2015 28.0 7,598 2,170,000
2015/2016 30.7 * 2,350,000
2016/2017 33 8,452 2,600,000

*Not captured in report

Source: Education Sector Report For the Medium Term Expenditure Framework 2018/19 – 2020/21 ( National Treasury)

In January 2018, Kenyan media reported that “KSh29.5 billion has been paid to all the public secondary schools  for Free Secondary Education (FSE) that has been rolled out as part of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s 2017 pre-election pledge.”

While the government has appeared keen to keep this promise, concerns have been raised about the quality of the textbooks, which have been found to contain errors, as well as of living and learning conditions. Space remains inadequate and sanitation in many schools also remains unsuitable. -Africa Check, May 2018