Survey shows 2.4m Kenyans illiterate

Wednesday February 08 2017

An Ipsos Synovate survey shows that five per cent of Kenyans are illiterate. PHOTO | TOM OTIENO | NATION MEDIA GROUP


At least five per cent of Kenyans have no formal education and more than a third have not gone beyond primary school, a survey has revealed.

The survey, released by Ipsos Synovate on February 6, indicates that though Kenya introduced free universal primary education programme in 2002 and has seen major increases in enrolment, more than 44 per cent of Kenyans have primary school level education and below.

This means 2.4 million Kenyans have no formal education and another 16,252,000 have only primary-level education, based on the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics 2015 report, which said the country has a population of 47.8 million people.

“Despite major increases in enrolment in educational institutions at all levels, still more than one third of all adult Kenyans have not gone beyond primary school,” read part of the report.

The survey was conducted between January 9 and 26 this year and covered a total of 2,057 respondents.



In education attainment, 11 per cent of Nairobi residents do not have post-primary education while 15 per cent have studied up to university level.

The northeastern region has the highest number of uneducated residents, with 66 per cent not having completed primary school, followed by Coast with 57 per cent, western 53 percent, eastern 45 percent and Rift Valley at 42 per cent.

Of some concern is that less than one per cent of Kenyans have post-graduate degrees, three per cent completed university, and 6 per cent mid-level college.

Meanwhile, the survey indicates that more Kenyans, 62 per cent, are either unemployed or in self-employment, 22 per cent and 40 per cent, respectively.

Also, more Kenyans are in casual labour than in public-sector employment, with those in the former group making up seven per cent of the total population, against four per cent of the latter.