Currently there are 576 Early Childhood Development Education (ECDE) centers in the County with a total enrolment of 29,047. This represents Gross Enrolment Rate (GER) of 17.8% which is much lower than the national average at 35%. A total of 967 teachers provide services at this level giving a Teacher: Pupil ratio of 1:31. The current level of performance by the sector requires to be addressed urgently in the light of the fact that over 80% of the under 5 years who should be enrolled in ECDE are not participating. This is important due the fact that children who have had an ECDE experience develop physical skills, acquire wide vocabulary, language and ability to classify items and are aware of temporal and spatial relationships. Such children are also able to solve simple problems, acquire general range of knowledge, express ideas in words, pictures, etc.; and they develop awareness and appreciate other peoples‟ needs and views. It is therefore, imperative that every learner in the County gains an ECDE experience as a foundation.
The County has a total of 422 primary schools with an enrollment rate of 89.5%. This high enrollment rate is attributable to the Free Primary Education (FPE) strategy of the Government. It is noteworthy that the enrollment rate of girls at 91% is higher than that of boys at 88%. Despite the high enrollment at this level, the County still needs to invest in primary education in order to mop up all the eligible children who are still not enrolled. Lastly, and perhaps more important, there is a need to shore up the primary transition rate which is low and currently stands at 59.9%.
Poor primary school infrastructure is a barrier to improving access to primary education in the County. There is a shortage of permanent classrooms and a backlog of infrastructure development in some areas. There is need for the County Government to encourage the private sector to provide more primary education services. This will help expand access at this level.
Secondary and Tertiary Education
The County has a total of 129 secondary schools with a GER of 65%. The GER does not compare well with the national average standing at 78%. This call for more efforts to raise enrolment, retention and completion of rates. This will involve making additional investment in secondary education infrastructure that will include new schools, classrooms in existing schools and laboratories.
The County has 2 public universities, 2 private universities, a national polytechnic, a technical college and several commercial colleges. These institutions play an important role in providing knowledge and skills particularly to the youth. It is, therefore, of strategic importance to make more investment in this sub-sector.
Adult and Continuing Education
Adult Basic Education (ABE) is one of the major components of the Adult and Continuing Education (ACE). It provides basic education and training opportunities to adults and out of school youth aged 15 years and above who have either missed their chances in the formal education system or dropped out of school before attaining sustainable levels of education.
The ABE national program targets an estimated 4.2 million illiterate adults and another 2.2 million out of school youth (1999 Population and Housing Census) 60% of these adults being women. However, this estimation was based on individual self-reporting of illiteracy status and it is believed that the level of illiteracy is actually much higher in the Country.
Special education has been recognized nationally for its important role in preparing those who would otherwise be dependent to be self-reliant. For a long time in Kenya, the approach was to provide it in special schools and special units. However, special schools only cater for children with special needs in the areas of hearing, visual, mental or physical challenge. This leaves out other areas of special needs such as gifted and talented, psychosocially different, autism, multiple handicapped, specific learning difficulties and communication disorders. The demand for services for children with special needs at all levels in the County has increased as a result of the commitment to Universal Primary Education (UPE).
Technical, Industrial, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training (TIVET)
Nationally, about 55% primary school leavers proceed to secondary schools. In Uasin Gishu County, the transition rate from primary to secondary is 59.9% which is slightly above the national average. Some of the learners unable to join secondary education either join youth polytechnics or the informal sector. At the end of the secondary education cycle about 12% of the original cohorts join universities while the rest join middle level colleges that offer skills training.