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Enrolment and gender parity after free primary education in Kenya: looks like pro-poor private schools in Nairobi’s slums have a point to make!

Charles Epari, African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

This paper examines enrolment and gender parity for children attending both public and private schools from Nairobi’s slum and non slum areas. We use retrospective schooling history data for six years (2005-2000) collected within the longitudinal framework of the Nairobi Urban Health Demographic Surveillance System (NUHDSS). The results suggest that even with free primary education, enrolment in private schools by children from the slums grew from 1333 (32.0 percent) in 2000 to 3392 (51.7 percent) in 2005. In sharp contrast, more children from the non slum sites attended public schools with those attending private schools only accounting for 26.7 percent in 2005. Interestingly, with values of between 1.02 and 1.05 for the period 2000-2005, gender parity is much better for children from the slums attending private schools than their counterparts attending public schools and for those attending both private and public schools in the non slum estates.

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Presented in Session 76: Experiences and impacts of universal primary education policies on human development