Kenya has an educational model somewhat different from the U.S.A. Beginning in a pre-pre-school class called nursery children attend or may attend school from a very early age. Age is not the sole determining factor in class assignment. Students may begin classes at most any age and therefore you will find a variety of ages in any class including the early std 1, 2, 3 and 4. The primary school experience ranges for children from the nursery level through Std 8 or we would call 8th grade. At the end of the Std 8 class the student is tested on a nationwide standard test which determines the Secondary or high school the student is assigned to, according to their scores.
The rural student faces many challenges due to the school infrastructure they have available. In short most rural primary schools are substandard when compared to urban schools. Among the issues faced are teacher preparation and training, lack of facilities, lack of electricity and water. Although most children do attend primary school the opportunity to move into Secondary is minimized by the poor foundation provided by rural schools in many cases.
Education, though, is a larger issue than children in schools. Many families do not hold education in high regard and so children are, many times, held out of school or not monitored in their attendance. This requires education for families.
Illiteracy in the older generations is very high, this too adds to the importance of teaching new methods and ways of working together. In times past each individual was dependent upon themselves and many resorted to practices that were not healthy or supportive for families. In the home of the very poor the need to provide light for night study is very expensive as the family must purchase Kerosene, this also causes a very unhealthy air quality and when added to the unhealthy cooking practices combine to make respiratory disease the single largest killer in African health.
One does not need to look deeply into the results of the former cycle of education to find the need for renewed focus on that very education in many areas of life in the rural communities of Kenya.