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Background Information

Background Information

The Ministry of Education derives its mandate from the Constitution of Kenya, Chapter Four Articles 43, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, and 59 which  provides for children’s right to free and compulsory basic education, including quality services, and to access education institutions and facilities for persons with disabilities. There are also provisions on access for youth to relevant education and training; access to employment; participation and representation of minorities and marginalized groups in governance and other spheres of life, special opportunities in educational and economic fields, and special opportunities for access to employment.

The Fourth Schedule of the Constitution of Kenya Articles 185(2), 186(1) and 187(2) distributes functions between the national and county governments. The National Government undertakes; education policy, standards, curriculum, examinations, granting of university charters, universities, tertiary educational institutions, institutions of research, higher learning, primary schools, special education, secondary schools, special education institutions and promotion of sports and sports education. While the County Government in relation to education are: pre-primary education, village polytechnics, home-craft centres, farmers training centres and childcare facilities.

In addition, Parliament, over the years has enacted a series of Acts on various dimensions of education whose objects and goals the Ministry is expected to implement to give effect to the Constitutional provisions pertaining to education and training of Kenyans.

Under the Executive Order No. 1 of 2020 (Revised) on the Organization of the Government of the Republic of Kenya, the Ministry is headed by a Cabinet Secretary, assisted by three Chief Administrative Secretaries and five Principal Secretaries, each heading a State Department. The five State Departments are: the State department for Early Learning and Basic Education; the State department for Vocational Education and Technical Training; the State department for University Education and Research; the State department for Post Training and Skills Development and State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms.

The Ministry’s functions are:

  • Basic (Early Childhood, Primary and Secondary) Education Policy Management.
  • Primary and Secondary Education Institutions Management.
  • School Administration and Programmes.
  • Registration of Basic Education and Training Institutions.
  • Administration of Early Childhood and Pre-Primary Education, Standards and Norms.
  • Management of Education Standards.
  • Management of National Examinations and Certification.
  • Curriculum Development.
  • Quality Assurance in Education.
  • Special Needs Education Management.
  • Representation of Kenya in UNESCO.
  • Teacher Education and Management.
  • Adult Education Management.
  • University Education Policy.
  • University Education Management.
  • Management of Continuing Education (excluding TVETS).
  • Public Universities Management
  • Education Research and Policy.
  • Biosafety Management.
  • Technical and Vocational Education Policy Development and Management.
  • Technical Vocational Education Training.
  • Management of Institutes of Science and Technology.
  • Management of National Polytechnics.
  • Management of Educational Training Institutions ‘ TVETs.’
  • Management of Technical Training Institutes.
  • Youth Polytechnics and Management of Vocational Training.
  • Apprenticeship and Training management of Technical and Vocational Training.
  • To provide an Institutional Framework to Devise and Implement National, Sectoral and Workplace Strategies to Develop and Improve the Skills of the Kenyan Work force and to Integrate those Strategies within the National Qualifications Framework.
  • Overseeing Skills Development among Actors and Establishment of Sector Specific Institutions Skills Councils.
  • Establishment and Management of Institutional Framework for Linking industry, Skills Development and Training.
  • Implementation of the Industrial Attachment Policy.
  • Management of Skills and Post Training Policy.
  • Harmonization of Skills Training at all levels of Training.
  • Management of National Skills Development Fund.
  • Implementation of the National Apprenticeship policy.
  • Development and implementation of Industry Entrepreneurship Linkages.
  • Creation and Management of an Employment Data Base System with Linkage to all cadres of graduates and jobs in the Market.
  • Assessing Industrial Training, Testing and Occupational Skills and Awarding Certificates including Government Test Certificates.
  • Registration and Approval of Professional Bodies.
  • Implementation and Management of the National Apprenticeship policy.
  • Assessing Industrial Training, Testing and Occupational Skills and Awarding Certificates including Government Test Certificates.
  • To Improve Productivity in the Workplace and the Competitiveness of Employers.
  • To Promote Self-employment.
  • To Improve the Delivery of Social Services
  • Overall policy on curriculum reforms;
  • Policy on competency based curriculum assessment in the Education (Primary, Secondary, TVETS, TTCs, Universities);
  • Oversee and coordinate the harmonious implementation of competency based curriculum reforms;
  • Create frameworks for supporting the implementation of competency based curriculum;
  • Provide guidance and support to Education service providers in migrating to competency based curriculum;
  • Collaborate with Public and Private stakeholders to build capacity for the implementing of curriculum reforms;
  • Collaborate with Public, Private, NGOs, Faith Based and other stakeholders to set modalities for mobilizing resources for implementing of curriculum reforms at Basic, Technical, Tertiary and High Levels of Learning;
  • Jointly with Higher Institutions of learning and stakeholders, prepare and roll out a plan for rationalizing and migrating University Education towards competency based curriculum aspirations;
  • Set, review and adopt value based standards and quality, including best practices for the implementation of competency based curriculum reforms to sustain its relevance, promote holistic educational development of learners and equity;
  • Collaborate with County Governments to mainstream competency based curriculum including assessments with Early Childhood Development Education, Vocational Training and manage transition to the new system;
  • Monitor and evaluate the competency based curriculum reforms and make appropriate recommendations;
  • Promote mainstreaming and application of ICT in learning and training in the Education system.