Nursery education, also known as Pre-Unit or Kindergarten, typically starts at age 5 or 6 in Kenya. It typically lasts 1 or 2 years. There are no exit exams or graduation. Each class year goes from January to December with month long breaks in April, August and December.
Primary education starts at age 6 or 7. There are eight class years required to complete primary education. Each class year goes from January to December with month long breaks in April, August and December. The first year is called "standard one" and each subsequent year is standard two..............all the way until standard 8. Standard one through four is referred to as lower primary while standard five to eight is referred to as upper primary. Most primary schools in Kenya are day schools as opposed to boarding schools.At the beginning of Standard 8, students are allowed to select 4 to 6 secondary schools that they would like to attend including one national school. At the end of Standard 8, students take the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). This is a standardized national exam taken by all standard 8 students at the same time. Students are tested in five subjects;
LANGUAGE I English Grammar, reading, comprehension and Composition writing
LANGUAGE II Kiswahili Grammar, reading, comprehension and Composition writing
SOCIAL STUDIES (History, Civics, Geography, religion)
Each subject carries a maximum of 100 marks, for a total of 500 possible marks.
A student's KCPE score determines which secondary school he or she attends. The top students have the choice of attending the prestigious national schools such as Alliance boys, Alliance girls, Starehe and Loreto Limuru. Second tier students join the provincial schools. Third tier students typically join district schools or Harambee schools. For those able to afford it, there is the option of attending private secondary schools such as the prestigious Strathmore school or
Students attend primary schools free of charge but have to pay for items such as books and for extra-curricular activities. Each primary school has a Headmaster and typically a deputy headmaster and a number of teachers. Parents are free to send their children to any primary school. However most parents send their children to close primary schools to reduce transportation costs. Class sizes vary from as low as 4 per class in small private schools to as high as 60 in some crowded urban schools.
Most primary schools offer extra-curricular activities such as choir, drama, scouting, girl guides and various sports. Primary schools compete against each other in various sports, music and drama tournaments.
The demanding nature of the KCPE exam and the constant drive for high grades typically limit most extra-curricular activities to standards one through seven