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Kenya: Improving school governance to support Free Primary Education

In Kenya, budget work has been used to ensure that the government’s policy of free primary education (FPE) provides adequate financial and human resources to facilitate children’s access to a quality primary education.

The government devolved funds to the local level in order to speed up service delivery and increase community participation in decision-making. This meant that there was a greater need for communities to understand budget processes, and to have the skills to plan and make decisions about education expenditure.

This has been achieved by training communities to monitor education policy and budget implementation, and by working to establish good governance structures in schools. Lobbying activities led to a change in the Education Act, to outline the role and function of school management committees (SMCs) and parent teacher associations (PTAs) in school and financial management.


• Monitored education policy and budget implementation at the school level

• Worked to establish good governance practices in schools


• Increased capacity of SMC and PTA members to participate in the FPE process and manage devolved funds effectively

• Lobbied successfully for the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MOEST) to scale-up the capacity of its audit unit

• Ensured the public display of school budgets


• The project was built on existing relations with communities and schools

• Information at local level was used for national level advocacy

Source: CEF Making the Budget Work for Education: Experiences, achievements and lessons from civil society budget work