Education is recognised as a key determinant in human development through more opportunities and enhanced earnings. Unequal opportunities in access to education have long-term consequences that include intergenerational persistence of poverty. The level of education of the household head is a key determinant of future earnings, child health, and other social and economic outcomes (Bourguignon et al. 2007, Kovacevic, 2010). Higher educational attainment and more equal access across all segments of the population should enhance participation in the labour market, increase economic growth and contributed to more equitable distribution of incomes in the long term.
Figure 2.25: Education level nationally and by rural /urban
One quarter of Kenya’s population has no education. Slightly over half of the population has primary education only and only 23 percent of the population has secondary education and above. In rural areas, one-third of the population has no education and slightly over half have primary education only. Only four out of every 25 people in rural areas have secondary education. Most (38 percent) of those with secondary education and above live in urban areas.
Figure 2.26 : Proportion of the population with no education, primary education only and secondary+ education at county level
Individuals in Nairobi County have 15.4 times more access to secondary education than those living in Turkana County and have 2.2 times more access to secondary education than an average Kenyan. On the other hand, individuals living in Turkana County are seven times less likely to have access to any secondary education than an average Kenyan. The proportion of individuals with secondary education in male headed households is higher than that in female headed households across all counties.
An individual in Embakasi West (the highest ranked constituency in access to secondary education) is 79 times more likely to have access to secondary education or higher than an individual in Loima (the constituency with lowest proportion of individuals with secondary education at 0.8 percent). If that individual comes from a female headed household in Loima Constituency, he or she has 120 times less access to secondary education than an individual in Embakasi West constituency or 28.5 times less access than an average Kenyan. An individual in a male headed household in Loima has 2.2 times more access to secondary education than an individual in a female headed household.
Turkana County, which has the highest proportion of the population with no education, is eight times that of lowest ranked county, Nairobi. At constituency level, Loima has the highest proportion of individuals with no education at 93.0 percent compared with Makadara Constituency with the least at 8.2 percent, implying that a person in Loima is 11 times more likely to have no education than one in Makadara.