The Ministry of Education, Science and Technology is responsible for national policies and programmes that ensure Kenyans access quality and affordable school education, post-school, higher education and academic research. The goals of education in Kenya is to provide, promote and coordinate the delivery of quality education, training and research and enhance integration of science, technology and innovation into national production systems for sustainable development. The structure of the ministry of education in Kenya is divided into two divisions: The State Department of Education and the State Department of Science and Technology. The two state departments are sub divided into eleven directories. Each directory has its own specific mandate enabling the ministry to carry out its functions.
The history of education in Kenya before independence dates back to 1846 when missionaries set up a school at Rabai. Education in the precolonial up to the colonial times was mainly spearheaded by missionaries setting up mission schools and later the colonial government setting up government schools. Some of the earliest schools included Nairobi Primary School established in 1902, Kaimosi Friends Primary School set up in 1903, Maseno School established in 1906 among others.
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Soon after independence, the education system in Kenya has transformed twice. In 1967 Kenya Uganda and Tanzania adopted the same system which comprised of 7 years of Primary education, 4 years of secondary education, 2 years of high school and 3-5 years of university education. During Moi’s tenure 8-4-4 system was introduced and has it has served the country for 32 years. Currently a new education system in Kenya is being rolled out by the ministry of education amid cries that it is rushed. This new system is a 2-6-3-3 curriculum which is competence based.
- 1 Directories of the ministry and their functions
- 1.1 1. Administration and Planning
- 1.2 2. Directorate of Basic Education
- 1.3 3. Directorate of Secondary and Tertiary Education
- 1.4 4. Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards
- 1.5 5. Directorate of Policy, Partnerships and East Africa Community Affairs
- 1.6 6. Directorate of Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training
- 1.7 7. Directorate of Technical Education
- 1.8 8. Directorate of Technical Accreditation and Quality Assurance
- 1.9 9. Directorate of Higher Education
- 1.10 10. The Directorate of Research Management and Development
- 1.11 11. Directorate of Youth Training
- 2 Hierarchy of the Ministry of Education
- 2.1 1. Office of the Cabinet Secretary
- 2.2 2. Office of the Principal Secretary
- 2.2.1 1. Office of the Director General Education.
- 2.2.2 2. Directorate of Primary Education
- 2.2.3 3. Directorate of Secondary and Tertiary Education
- 2.2.4 4. Directorate of Alternative Basic Education and Continuing Education
- 2.2.5 5. Directorate of University Education
- 2.2.6 6. Directorate of Schools Audit
- 2.2.7 1. Office of the Director General, Science and Technology
- 2.2.8 3. Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation
- 2.2.9 4. Directorate of Technical, Vocational Education and Training
- 2.2.10 5. Directorate of Youth Training
Directories of the ministry and their functions
The education sector serves several functions to make the life of each student comfortable in their quest for knowledge. These roles played include;
1. Administration and Planning
The function of this directorate is to provide support services to technical directorates in delivering their mandate. The units include: Administration, Central Planning and Project Monitoring Unit (CPPMU), Gender and Guidance and Counselling, Human Resource Department, Information and Communication Technology, Accounts, Finance, Procurement and the HIV/AIDS Unit.
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2. Directorate of Basic Education
This directorate is responsible for the formulation and designing of pre-primary education policies, effecting primary education, Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training (APBET) and training of primary school teachers. The directorate is also mandated to implement education to people with special needs.
3. Directorate of Secondary and Tertiary Education
This directorate is delegated with the task of coordinating secondary education. It also harmonizes the pre-service training for diploma secondary school teachers.
4. Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards
The directorate is responsible for ensuring quality and standards are met in education and training facilities. This is done through periodic assessments in educational institutions. The Directorate works complementary with KICD in the re-evaluation and the development of curricula, and KNEC on curriculum assessment.
5. Directorate of Policy, Partnerships and East Africa Community Affairs
This directorate is mandated with the coordination of the overall policy making and enhancing partnerships.
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6. Directorate of Alternative Provision of Basic Education and Training
The directorate coordinates Adult and Continuing Education programme. This provides elementary education and skills training opportunities to adults and youths who dropped out of school before reaching bearable levels of education and those who missed the chance to have access to fundamental education and are 15 years and older.
7. Directorate of Technical Education
The directorate is authorized to make sure there is coordination and implementation of technical education and training in the country. The directive includes enhancing right of entry, fairness, quality and relevance in technical education and training, provision of financial assistance for development activities in the technical and vocational training, management of technical education programmes, providing career guidance and counseling and encouraging of connections and collaborations between commerce and technical and vocational institutions. It also aims at improving and encouraging research and innovation among technical institutes.
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8. Directorate of Technical Accreditation and Quality Assurance
The directorate is responsible for the formulation and implementation of credit transfer policy, ensuring quality and standards for technical training and industrial attachments, introduction of TVET curriculum development, monitoring standards and quality of curriculum realization, overseeing the dispensation of technical and business exams in technical institutions,inspection of institutional facilities and capacity for technical institutes and enabling registration of TVET institutions.
9. Directorate of Higher Education
The Directorate of Higher Education’s functions include creation and reassessment of policies on higher education in harmony with relevant organizations and agencies, expanding access and improving quality and relevance in university education, coordination of admission of students to public universities in congruence with Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Services Board (KUCCPS) and coordination of students exchange programmes.
10. The Directorate of Research Management and Development
The mandate of the directorate includes: creation of research, science, technology and innovation policies, management of knowledge, guiding and enhancing the national research system through policies that rationalize the integration of research and development into overall national economic development.
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11. Directorate of Youth Training
The directorate is mandated to revitalize and rehabilitate youth polytechnics countrywide. This addresses the constitutional requirement as articulated in Article 53 1(b) regarding provision of free and compulsory basic education and Article 55 (a-c) regarding access to relevant education and training, employment and participation in national development by the youth.
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Hierarchy of the Ministry of Education
The Ministry of Education, just like any other governmental department, has a hierarchical order of power. Here is how the power has been divided.
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1. Office of the Cabinet Secretary
The office of the Cabinet Secretary is a constitutional office that provides policy and strategy leadership to the ministry. It is currently held by Amb. Amina Chawahir Mohamed. The office is staffed with administrative support staff. They include a cabinet secretary, personal assistant, technical assistant for education, technical assistant for science and technology, personal secretary, support staff and principal driver. Thus, the cabinet secretary is the senior most office bearer in the ministry.
2. Office of the Principal Secretary
This office is subdivided into two: Office of the Principal Secretary Education and Office of the Principal Secretary Science and Technology. The Principal Secretary is the authorized accounting officer for the ministry. Dr Belio Kipsang is the current Secretary of Education. This office is staffed with two principal secretaries one for the state department of education and the other heading the state department of science and technology.
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Under the office of Principal Secretary Education lies the following directories:
1. Office of the Director General Education.
This office established through the Basic Education Act, 2013 and will be graded at job group U. The office is responsible for:
- Advising the principal secretary on all matters pertaining to technical aspects of the state department of education
- Coordination of projects, partnerships and international commitments
- Schools audit function
- Overseeing the implementation of ICT for Education project as well as the Field Administration Services Unit
2. Directorate of Primary Education
The directorate is headed by a Secretary of Primary Education at Job Group T and is responsible for:
- The overall management of Primary, Special Needs Education (SNE) and Primary Teacher Education
The directorate is organized into three departments namely: Research, Policy and Strategy; Primary Education Development and Projects, Programmes and Grants
3. Directorate of Secondary and Tertiary Education
This directorate is headed by a Secretary of Secondary Education at Job Group T. The directorate:
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- Manages matters related to secondary and tertiary education
The directorate is further organized into two departments namely; Research Policy and Strategy and Secondary and Tertiary Education Development.
4. Directorate of Alternative Basic Education and Continuing Education
This directorate is headed by a Secretary at Job group T. The directorate is responsible for:
- Formulation and review of policies for alternative provision of basic education and training
- Overseeing the development, management and governance of institutions
- Offering alternative adult education, strategic partnerships and collaborations
- Promoting life–long learning for out of school children, youth and adults
5. Directorate of University Education
This directorate is headed by a Secretary at Job group T. The directorate is responsible for:
- Formulation, implementation and review of policies for the university education
- Overseeing the management and governance of institutions established by the University Education Act, 2012
- Coordination of strategic partnerships, collaborations and linkages to foreign university education
6. Directorate of Schools Audit
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This directorate is headed by a Director at job group S and is responsible to the Education Secretary for planning, organizing, directing, coordinating and controlling Audit Services in Public primary, Secondary and Tertiary institutions.
Office of the Principal Secretary Science and Technology is assigned the following functions;
- Science technology and innovation policy making
- Management of technical training institutes including youth polytechnics
- Management of institutions of science and technology
- Management of National polytechnics.
To accomplish these tasks, it is divided into the following directories:
1. Office of the Director General, Science and Technology
This office is headed by a Secretary, Science and Technology is graded at job group U. The Director General is responsible for:
- Advising the Principal Secretary on all matters relating to TVET, Science, Technology and Innovation
- Coordinating the technical functions of the state department
- Coordinating projects, partnerships and international commitments
2. Directorate of Knowledge Management and Commercialization
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This directorate is headed by a secretary at the level of Job Group T. The directorate is responsible for
- The formulation and implementation of policies, strategies and programmes for the production, preservation and utilization of knowledge. These include indigenous knowledge, for socio-economic development
- Establishment and maintenance of a Knowledge Management Information System and generate National Science, Technology and Innovation statistics to feed into the system and facilitate the effective linkages between government, research, academia, industry and the society
- Initiation and implementation of strategic international, national and institutional collaborations and partnerships for knowledge management and commercialization
3. Directorate of Science, Technology and Innovation
This directorate is headed by a secretary who will be graded at Job Group T. The directorate is responsible for:
- The formulation and implementation of policies, strategies and programmes for the development, promotion, dissemination and effective communication of Science, Technology and Innovation
- Facilitation of the integration of Science and Technology, including new and emerging areas such as Information Communication Technology, Business Process Outsourcing, Nanotechnology, Biotechnology, Space Science, Nuclear science etc into the national production systems for sustainable development
- Initiation and implementation of strategic collaborations and partnerships for science, technology and innovation
4. Directorate of Technical, Vocational Education and Training
This Directorate is headed by a Secretary who will be graded at Job group T. The Directorate is responsible for:
- Policy formulation, and supervision of TVET institutions including Youth Polytechnics and Technical Universities
- Ensuring equitable access, retention and achievement of appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes
- Overseeing the management of institutions established by the TVET Act, 2013
5. Directorate of Youth Training
This Department is headed by a Director who is graded at Job Group S. The Department is responsible for:
- Formulation and review of policies on youth training
- Development and review of curriculum
- Overseeing the implementation of the curriculum and co-curricular activities
- Facilitating provision of adequate tools, equipment and infrastructure in youth polytechnics.
With the onset of devolved governments there is need to effectively coordinate functions of the national government at the county levels. This necessitated the post of County Director Education, Science and Technology with two deputies. The county director reports to the both Director General Education and Director General Science and Technology.
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