Kenya: Allocate Education Resources Equitably | All Africa

Our system of education, how we govern and allocate educational resources, is the most virulent vector of inequality, socioeconomic and political exclusion.

Fifty years is enough. We must act now to secure Kenya for posterity.

There is everything wrong and unjust about how we allocate educational resources and the associated dividends.

It is time to devolve education. Devolving education is about empowering local stakeholders and moving away from a top-down input-oriented management to an outcome-oriented approach.

– Dr. Awiti, Director, East African Institute & Assistant Professor, Aga Khan University

A high school education should not be a privilege of the few but a birthright of every Kenyan child. In a competitive globalised world, and especially as we enter a post-knowledge economy, literacy and numeracy alone just won’t do.

About 1.3 million children enrolled in primary school in 2007. Only 880,486 completed Standard Eight. A staggering 417,483 children dropped out, rather too soon, from our school system. In the just released Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination results, 445,981 students scored below the average 250 marks. What this shakes down to is pretty ominous, and we ought to be both ashamed and very afraid. Out of the starting cohort of 1.3 million in 2007, only 432,000 or 34 per cent of children, who scored 250 marks and above, have a realistic chance to transition to a decent secondary school.

Read the complete story at All Africa | Kenya: Allocate Education Resources Equitably

By Alex O. Awiti. Published Tuesday, January 6, 2015.

About Alex O. Awiti

Alex O. Awiti is the Director of the East African Institute, a policy research, analysis, capacity building and public engagement platform of the Aga Khan University. As an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, he also leads the curriculum design for one of the most innovative liberal arts based undergraduate programmes in Africa

Prior to joining the Aga Khan University, Awiti was a postdoctoral fellow at the Earth Institute at Columbia University in New York. He was also an adjunct assistant professor at Columbia’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Awiti is the Africa editor for Environmental Development, the Transdisciplinary Journal of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment (SCOPE). As public intellectual he writes a widely read weekly column for The Star, a Kenyan daily.

His research focuses on education, conservation, agriculture and food systems, population health, climate change, urbanization and natural resource governance.

As one of very few resilience experts in Africa, Awiti sits on the Board of the Resilience Alliance (, a research organization comprised of international interdisciplinary scholars, including Nobel laureates.

As a public intellectual, Awiti maintains an active blog ( and writes regular op-eds for leading East African newspapers. He was one of the speakers at TEDx Nairobi 2013.

Mr. Awiti holds a PhD in Ecosystems Ecology from University of Nairobi and is an alumnus of the prestigious Earth Institute Fellowship of Columbia University in New York.


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