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August 19, 2004

Uncertain Future for Homeschooling in Kenya

In January 2003 the government of Kenya expanded the public school system by making it free to all children. The effect of this proclamation has been an overcrowding of the school classrooms. The problem has grown to the point that some schools even have children come in shifts – some attend morning school, the rest in the afternoon.

Because of this congestion and the cost of private schools, more Kenyan parents are turning to homeschooling to provide a quality education for their children. During the past year a homeschool support group called Home School Services has been started to meet the needs of these new homeschoolers.

The legality of homeschooling is still uncertain, however, and depends on the final version of the Kenyan Constitution, which is currently being rewritten. There has been talk of adding a requirement that all children attend public school, but a draft of the constitution has been released with the following provisions:

  1. Every person has the right to a basic education, including pre-primary, primary and secondary education.
  2. The Government shall institute a program to implement the right of every child to free and compulsory primary education.
  3. The state, through reasonable measures, shall make progressively available and accessible post-secondary education.
  4. Every person has the right to establish and maintain, at their own expense, independent educational institutions that meet

standards laid down in legislation; and comply with the requirements of the Constitution.

If the language of this draft is retained parents should be able to continue homeschooling though future regulation of the proposed independent schools could make homeschooling extremely difficult. HSLDA will continue to work with Home School Services to ensure that the new constitution protects the right of parents to homeschool in Kenya.