World Bank Report warns of Crisis in Kenya’s Education System

In October, the Daily Nation newspaper in Kenya ran an article in which the senior education specialist from the World Bank was quoted as saying that children going through the Kenyan education system are losing an estimated three years of education.

The article read: “What this means is that a Kenyan child can expect to go to school for 11 years out of which they will only do learning worth eight years,” said the bank’s senior education specialist Huma Waheed at their offices in Nairobi. “When years of schooling are adjusted for quality of learning, this is only equivalent to 7.8 years, a learning gap of 2.9 years. This means Kenyan school-going children are having a learning loss of close to three years. Going to school doesn’t mean that children are learning and this is mainly because of the quality of education,” she added. To read the full Daily Nation article, please click here.

After six years of working intensely with some 4,000 teachers in over 200 of Kenya’s rural marginalised schools, we have a good understanding of the challenges faced by teachers and by an education system which struggles to cope with limited budgets and huge class sizes. iMlango has been investing in learning tools for children and in helping teachers teach, with focus especially on mathematics and literacy.

One of our aims is to help ensure that children in these communities grow up as natives in the digital economy, articulate and equipped for taking advantage of and contributing to the productivity opportunities that the sector can bring. Over the years, we have seen some great steps forward in the schools, and we are especially pleased with some of the advances in literacy that children are making.

The reality is that it’s not just about the role of the teachers, but the whole community in being advocates of education, with parents ensuring children are in school. We work to raise the understanding of these issues with real data, as well as making sure that teachers have the tools to help children learn.

Adam Smith, Chief Executive, sQuid

For more information on the award-winning iMlango programme, please go to or contact us.