The basic education act no 14 of 2013 is a 93 page document that outlines the framework of running basic education in Kenya.
We are cognizant of the fact that not many people have the patient or the time to read through the whole act thus we have tried to summarize its content mostly in relation to the free and compulsory education.
It is an act of parliament that seeks to;
- Promote and regulate free and compulsory basic education.
- Provide for accreditation, registration, governance and management of basic education institutions.
- Provide for the establishment of the National Education Board, Quality Assurance Commission and County Education Board.
Basic Education Guiding Principles
The provision of basic education is guided by the following values and principles;
- The right of every child to free and compulsory basic education.
- Equitable access for the youth to basic education and equal access to education or institutions.
- Promotion of quality and relevance.
- Accountability and democratic decision making within the institutions of basic education.
- Protection of every child against discrimination within or by an education department or education or institution on any ground whatsoever.
- Protection of the right of every child in a public school to equal standards of education including the medium of instructions used in schools for all children of the same educational level.
- Advancement and protection of every child in pre-primary and lower primary level of education to be instructed in the language of his or her choice where this is reasonably practicable.
- Encouraging independent and critical thinking and cultivating skills, disciplines and capacities for reconstruction and development.
- Promotion of peace, integration, cohesion, tolerance, and inclusion as an objective in the provision of basic education.
- Elimination of hate speech and tribalism through instructions that promote the proper appreciation of ethnic diversity and culture in society.
- Imparting relevant knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to learners to foster the spirit and sense of patriotism, nationhood, unity of purpose, togetherness, and respect.
- Promotion of good governance, participation and inclusiveness of parents, communities, private sector and other stakeholders in the development and management of basic education.
- Transparency and cost effective use of educational resources and sustainable implementation of educational services.
- Ensuring human dignity and integrity of persons engaged in the management of basic education.
- Promoting the respect for the right of the child’s opinion in matters that affect the child. Elimination of gender discrimination, corporal punishment or any form of cruel and inhuman treatment or torture.
- Promoting the protection of the right of the child to protection, participation, development and survival.
- Promotion of innovativeness, inventiveness, creativity, technology transfer and an entrepreneurial culture.
- Non-discrimination, encouragement and protection of the marginalized, persons with disabilities and those with special needs.
- Enhancement of co-operation, consultation and collaboration among the Cabinet Secretary, Teachers Service Commission, the National Education Board, the County Education Boards, the education and training institutions and other related stakeholders on matters related to education.
- Provision of appropriate human resource, funds, equipment, infrastructure and related resources that meet the needs of every child in basic education.
Functions of the National Educational Board
Below are the functions of the National Educational board as outlined in the act;
- To advise the Cabinet Secretary and department of education on policy matters in respect to;
- Collaborating with quality assurance standards to promote standards in basic education and training.
- Working with the relevant authorities to ensure barriers to the right quality education are removed and that the government facilitate the realization of the right to education by all Kenyans.
- The initiation of guidelines of establishing basic education institutions subject to approval by the cabinet secretary.
- Ensuring all children attend and remain in school till they complete basic education by putting measures in place that will achieve this.
- Put measures in place that ensures that children transition to the next level of education more so for the vulnerable and marginalized children.
Functions of the County Educational Board.
Below are the functions of the county educational board as outlined in the act;
- Oversee the operation and management of youth polytechnics and pre-primary education including early childhood care and programs in the county.
- Co-ordinate and monitor education and training in the county on behalf of the National Education Board.
- Initiate proposals for policy reforms.
- Plan, promote, develop and co-ordinate education training and research in the county in accordance with the basic education act.
- Collaborate with the school board, principal or the head teacher and other stakeholders in management of basic education schools.
- Register and maintain a databank of education and training institutions in the county.
- Monitor the conduct of examinations and assessment at the basic education and training levels in the county.
- Collaborate with TSC on teacher management within the county.
- Prepare and submit a comprehensive school termly annual report of its mandate not limited to curriculum policy implementation and school based audit report within the county.
- Ensure all barriers to the right to quality education are removed within the county by co-coordinating with the relevant agencies.
- Ensure all children and youth of school going age within the county attend and stay in school to complete education.
Free and compulsory education
The basic education act tasks the Cabinet Secretary to implement the right of every child to free and compulsory basic education.
He shall do this by;
- Providing for the establishments of education institutions within a reasonably accessible distance within a county.
- Establish appropriate boarding schools in arid and semi –arid areas and where it is hard to reach and vulnerable groups.
- Establish relevant education institutions to cater for gifted and talented learners.
- Establish special and integrated schools for learners with disability.
No public school shall charge or cause any parent or guardian to pay tuition fee on behalf of a pupil
Compulsory primary and secondary education
- Every parent whose child is a Kenyan or resides in Kenya shall ensure their child attends an education institution regularly for purposes of physical, mental ,intellectual and social development of the child.
- Any person who contravenes the above section is committing an offense and can be prosecuted.
Duty of parents and guardian
- It shall be the responsibility of every parent or guardian to take his or her child to a basic education institution failure to which he shall be deemed to have committed an offence.
- A parent or guardian shall have the right to participate in the character development of his or her child.