Some Kenyan Schools Are Dangerously Overcrowded. What Must Be Done

Students at school on Rusinga Island, Kenya. JLwarehouse/Shutterstock

By Maurice Mutisya

A stampede at a primary school in Kenya resulted in the deaths of 14 young children. Though there’s speculation over why the children died, it highlights the issue of overcrowding in Kenyan schools. The school had 3,128 pupils and 51 classrooms – on average classes would have over 60 students in them at a time. Maurice Mutisya shares his insights with Moina Spooner from The Conversation Africa on just how bad the overcrowding situation is and what can be done about it.

How big a problem is overcrowding in Kenya’s schools and what’s behind it?

Overcrowding in primary and secondary government schools in Kenya has been an issue of great concern.

The cause of this overcrowding can be traced back to the introduction of free primary education in 2003. The government wanted to ensure all Kenyans could go to school and abolished school fees.

As a result, enrolment in government primary schools increased by almost 1.3 million students in 2003, from 6 million in 2002 to 7.3million in 2003.

We are also seeing similar patterns in secondary schools, more so since the government in 2018 introduced a push to achieve a 100% transition rate from primary to secondary school. Read more…

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