Welcome to The East African Centre for Human Rights!
EACHRights; A Non-partisan, Regional Non-Governmental OrganizationEACHRights; A Non-partisan, Regional Non-Governmental OrganizationEACHRights; A Non-partisan, Regional Non-Governmental Organization
Cedar Court, Timau Road, Kilimani

Right to Education Program

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Every child possesses the inherent right to access free, compulsory, and quality basic education, a guarantee enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution of 2010. The Education Support Programme (ESP) is dedicated to advancing the realization of the Right to Education in Kenya and East Africa through multifaceted approaches, including research and advocacy, policy reform, community engagement, awareness creation, partnerships, and public interest litigation.

In alignment with the fundamental principles of the right to education, the ESP focuses on the following key dimensions:

  1. Availability: Ensuring an ample quantity of schools or educational institutions are provided, and public education is adequately funded.

  2. Accessibility: Making education accessible to all without discrimination, with a focus on non-discrimination, physical accessibility, and economic accessibility.

  3. Acceptability: Ensuring the form and substance of education, including curricula and teaching methods, are relevant, culturally acceptable, and of high quality.

  4. Adaptability: Creating a flexible education system capable of adapting to the evolving needs of societies and communities, responding to the diverse social and cultural settings of students.

The overarching objective of the initiative is to hold the State accountable for fulfilling its obligation to provide free and basic primary education, as mandated by national, regional, and international laws, treaties, and conventions.

Collaborating with the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to assess and improve the resourcing levels and associated fiscal framework of the education sector.
Clarifying and enforcing a legal framework that clearly outlines the role and impact of complimentary or non-formal education.
Establishing national and regional networks of civil society partners actively collaborating to address and mitigate the impact of education privatization.
Empowering community members to actively advocate for improved public education and the proper regulation of private actors.
Incorporating Additional Information on Privatization of Education
Right to Education Program: Addressing the Challenges of Privatization

In response to the growing challenges posed by the privatization of education, the Right to Education Program at EACHRights remains steadfast in its commitment to ensuring every child’s access to free, compulsory, and quality basic education. This commitment is enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution of 2010, and we actively address the multifaceted impact of privatization on human rights, particularly as highlighted by the Report of the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights (2018).


  • Our Head Office; House No. 4 Cedar Court, Timau Road Kilimani, Nairobi, Kenya.
  • +254-701-670090
  • info@eachrights.or.ke

Understanding Privatization in the Context of Education

Karl Thompson defines privatization of education as the transfer of education services from state ownership to private entities, including companies, charities, or religious institutions. The consequences of such privatization, as outlined by the Special Rapporteur, often involve the systematic elimination of human rights protections, further marginalizing the interests of low-income earners and those living in poverty.

Historical Context in Kenya

In the Kenyan context, the landscape of education underwent significant changes, especially in the years following 1990. A surge in private schools was observed, driven partly by reduced public expenditure on education during the 1980s, influenced by structural adjustment policies (SAPs). This period saw diminished access to education, particularly for disadvantaged children, including girls from rural communities, the urban poor, and children with disabilities.

The introduction of the Free Primary Education (FPE) program in 2003 led to a substantial increase in private schools. This rise was attributed to the massive influx of students into public schools, resulting in a decline in quality due to overburdened facilities. Challenges in public education included low teacher-pupil ratios, inadequate learning facilities, poor learning environments in urban slums, frequent teacher strikes, high costs, and poor overall education quality.


Current Scenario and Trends

Between 2011 and 2017, public primary and secondary schools increased, but the growth of private schools was more pronounced, especially in informal settlements. This was driven by severe shortages of basic services, including education, in these areas. The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child (2016) expressed concerns about the low quality of education, rapid growth of private and informal schools, and the resulting deepening of inequalities.


Challenges and Recommendations

Despite this growth, private actors in education lack adequate monitoring and regulation by the state. The lack of enforcement of regulatory frameworks allows for infringements on the right to education, especially with commercial, for-profit actors. The absence of a national database for non-state schools makes monitoring difficult, and the inadequate resourcing of regulatory functions further compounds the poor quality of education in such schools.

EACHRights advocates for the enforcement of existing regulatory frameworks, the registration of private schools, and the establishment of guidelines for oversight and implementation of public-private partnerships in education. Through our Right to Education Program, we strive to address the challenges posed by the privatization of education, ensuring that the right to quality education is upheld for all. For more information about our efforts, please contact Johnstone Shisanya at johnstone@eachrights.or.ke.

We understand the importance of approaching each work integrally and believe in the power of simple.

Melbourne, Australia
(Sat - Thursday)
(10am - 05 pm)

We understand the importance of approaching each work integrally and believe in the power of simple.

Melbourne, Australia
(Sat - Thursday)
(10am - 05 pm)

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Melbourne, Australia
(Sat - Thursday)
(10am - 05 pm)