Brief: Regulation of Education Technology in Kenya (Installment II: Tech Regulation in Kenya Series)

This brief is the second of a three-part series examining the role of regulation in technology advancement in education, finance, and healthcare. This brief specifically focuses on technology regulation in the education sector in Kenya and puts forward recommendations for the improvement of regulation in this sector. This first installment of the series provides an overview of the education system in Kenya and the bodies involved in education regulation.

Read the full introduction to the broader series here, and follow Botho’s website and social media for installments of the series in September and October 2019.

Technology has significantly revolutionized education by expanding access to millions of children and adults worldwide. From online degree programs to podcasts, and free Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), new opportunities for learning are constantly emerging for students of different backgrounds across the globe. 

While “tech” is a popular modern-day buzzword, technology has played a critical role in education for centuries. Braille, for example, has transformed the day-to-day lives of the visually impaired since its invention in the 1800s. What has changed recently, however, is the rapid pace of innovation in technology. Today, technology is accelerating improvements in the facilitation of teaching and learning. Across Africa, technology’s disruption has the potential of bridging the gap in education exclusion; sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion in the world. According to UNESCO, one-fifth of children between the ages of  6 and 11 are out of school while one-third of youth between the ages of 12 and 14  lack access to education.

Despite Kenya’s impressive progress towards achieving universal primary education, significant gaps remain in its implementation. Innovative technologies in the form of platforms and mobile applications have emerged to help improve the access to and quality of education.

The first section of this brief provides an overview of the education system in Kenya and the bodies involved in education regulation. The second section highlights the importance of education in the context of Kenya’s national strategic goals. The third section explores the reasons for education technology regulation, as well as the challenges in the regulatory process, as a prelude to the fourth which puts forward recommendations for improvement of technology regulation in education. The paper finally concludes with a summary and anticipated outcomes should policymakers implement the recommendations herein.