Kenyan Education System

Access to education has worsened and has not kept pace with population growth. Primary school graduates wishing to join secondary school are unable to do so since there are only few high schools but demand for them is very high. In addition secondary schools charge high fees thus marginalizing poor people who cannot afford those fee.

The Kenyan government recognized that education is a basic human right that every child should enjoy though it is a big challenge to equally enhance access to high schools either by constructing new high schools or expansion of the existing institutions. It is a problem especially in largely populated areas like Matopeni to match this enhancement with the high number of children who want to pursue high school education after graduating from primary school.

In Matopeni where Boston High School is located there is no single government school where children could pursue secondary school education. This leads to lower enrollment of needy children of Matopeni in almost all levels of education hence worse ability to access labor markets. B.H.S was started to mitigate this problem and to ease accessibility of education to all poor deserving children residing in Matopeni and its environs.

education system - classroomTypes of schools

In Kenya there are several levels of education: kindergarten/nursery, primary school, secondary/high school and higher education (college/university)

According to financing methods there are public schools and private schools. The former ones are free of charge (there is no tuition fee), however you have to buy your own uniform, books, stationery, etc. which is a problem for many parents. Besides, private schools charge tuition fee and offer better circumstances (more comfortable schoolrooms, sanitary facilities, etc.).

Nursery school (pre-school)

Children at the age of 3-6 go to nursery school or pre-school. Although there might be differences between various places in Kenya, the nursery school is rather school-focused, children sit at tables and learn basic writing and math skills here, so it is often called pre-school.

Primary school

Basic education for children at the age of 6-14 that lasts for 8 years. (As starting school partly depends on the family’s financial background some children start school later – at the age of 7-8 or even 9 – and thus leave school at later age as well.)

In primary schools there are 5 subjects:  English language, Swahili (local) language, mathematics, science and social studies.

education system - primary kidsThe school year

is from January until December in trimesters

  • term 1: January – March
  • term 2: May – July
  • term 3: September – November
  • In April, August and December the school is closed.


In Kenya the trimester marks (entered in the end-term report) are defined by the term exams. In primary school exams are taken only at the end of the trimesters (and at the end of class 8) whereas in secondary school there are exams during the term as well (see below).

End-term exams

  1. At the end of each term children take exams on all five subjects;
  2. In each exam they can score max. 100 points (in one semester they can collect 500 points altogether);
  3. In each subject they must collect min. 50 points (altogether 250) to enter the next grade;
  4. If someone fails to achieve 50 points in mathematics but has at least 40 points s/he may take extra lessons and if his/her results improve, s/he may continue his/her studies even with a total score under 250.

There is also a set of National Exams KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) after the last year of primary school, and KCSE (Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education) at after the last year of secondary school.

Support us

There are several ways you can help our schools in Matopeni: sponsor a child, donate our feeding program, buy a school uniform, volunteer or raise funds for us. 

Any donations – no matter how small – to support our programs are very welcome.