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Maintaining Universal Primary Education

Lessons from Commonwealth Africa

image of Maintaining Universal Primary Education

Every country that has worked towards, and then attained, universal primary education has celebrated that achievement as a great step forward. Maintaining universal primary education, once achieved, offers new challenges, examined in this book. Lalage Bown and her co-researchers from the Council for Education in the Commonwealth explore the various economic, political and social pressures which may affect the progress of educational provision, as well as the different national educational policies and strategies themselves, as they play out in five very different Commonwealth African countries: Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania and Zambia. The contributors’ findings will inform the decisions of both national and international education policy-makers working to ensure that universal primary education becomes, and remains, a reality across Africa.

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Kenya's three initiatives in UPE

Since gaining independence in December 1963, Kenya has pursued a deliberate strategy that emphasised education as the key factor to development. Indeed, The Kenya Constitution, Sessional Paper No. 10 on African Socialism and various national development plans, recognised education as a means for promoting national integration among the various tribes and ethnic groups in Kenya1. Education was seen as a catalyst for political, economic and social advancement for individuals, through which human capital accumulation, essential for economic growth and national development could be attained. This belief made it imperative that Kenya had to pursue policies geared to the expansion and improvement of education for leaders of independent Kenya to sustain their political leadership.

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