An analysis of the impact of structural adjustment programmes on education, in Sub-Saharan Africa: a case study of Kenya (1980-2010)
This study examines the impact of the Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAPs) which were implemented in several African countries in the Sub-Saharan region, as a means of enhancing growth and development. The study focuses on the role played by the Bretton Woods Institutions i.e. the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund, in the education sector. SAPs were aimed at improving the overall economic performance as well as enhancing a country's capacity to provide basic social services such as education and health. One of the requirements of the programmes was that Sub-Saharan African (SSA) governments reduce their involvement in the economy through cost-sharing with its citizens in the provision of health and educational services. The study examines how structural adjustment programmes impacted on the economic performance of the Sub-Saharan African countries and how this in turn affected the provision of educational services in Kenya and other Sub-Saharan African countries. Public spending on education by governments can be a strong instrument in ensunng equity, through expansion of opportunities and raising the standards of living its people and especially to the poorest. This was the rationale behind governments subsidizing education for their citizens. Lower spending in the educational sector by governments, resulted in the deterioration of quality of teaching and research. Educational institutions also operated under adverse conditions such as deterioration of physical facilities, overcrowding, lack of resources for required materials and maintenance. SAPs were articulated in Sessional Paper No. 4 of 1980 on Economic Prospects and Policies and later elaborated in Sessional Paper No. 1 of 1986 on Economic Management for Renewal Growth, which was to be the blueprint for the implementation of SAPs. These Sessional Papers provided ideal development targets and policy guidelines and were often meant to attract aid from the donors, who had signaled that they would reward the government that adapted to the reforms and penalize those that refused to reform . The fact that a large section of the population in most countries in SSA live below a dollar a day, complicated matters in that they were not able to play their part as far as costsharing was required, due to their financial status. It is a fact that an illiterate population cannot participate effectively in the development process. Rationalization of public sector spending meant increased fees and cost-sharing, which many families could not afford. While education institutions in SSA had increased in numbers despite the introduction of SAPs in the 1980s and 1990s, the quality of education offered seemed to be on the decline. Areas highlighted include the impact that the SAPs generally had in SSA in enrollment in schools, gender disparity and economic issues in education. In Kenya, SAPs brought about a lot of challenges in education and thus the study will focus on areas related to expenditure in the education sector, enrollment and the gender disparity in schools. The methodology used comprises both primary and secondary sources of data. Research is based on documented sources, library research at various institutions and stakeholders in the education sector The main objective of this study is to look at the nature of SSj\ economies and to explore the extent of the implementation of SAPs and their impact on education, especially to the poor and vulnerable groups in SSA and particularly in Kenya.