Schools in Kenya

Education is highly valued in Kenya. Many Kenyan families make huge sacrifices to send their children to good schools. However, the public schools in Kenya suffer from a lack of funding and a shortage of highly-qualified teaching staff, particularly in rural areas. Most expats therefore opt to send their children to private or international schools, with the latter being the preferred option for those planning on staying in Kenya for only a short period.
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public schools

Most expats don’t consider public schools in Kenya an option for their children because the standard of education can vary quite dramatically. However, there are a handful of very good public schools in Nairobi that shouldn’t be overlooked, especially by those who are looking to settle in Kenya for the long term.


The primary language of instruction in Kenyan public schools is English, with Swahili being a compulsory subject throughout primary and secondary school. A major advantage of having expat students attend public schools in Kenya is that it allows them to assimilate with local children and therefore become more integrated into Kenyan society.

Private schools in Kenya are a good option, especially for expats from the UK, as these tend to be based on British education systems. 


The standard of education at Kenya's private schools is superior to its public schools, mainly because of additional funding from school fees. Costs vary from one school to another, but a private education is still cheaper than international schooling options.

Kenya is home to a fairly large expat population and, as such, the country has a good range of international schools. The best choice of international schools can be found in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.


As a result of historic ties with the UK, a large number of international schools in Kenya follow the British curriculum. There are also schools that follow the International Baccalaureate (IB), or curricula of countries such as France, Germany, Sweden, the USA and the Netherlands.


The standard of education at international schools is generally excellent, and students have the opportunity to participate in a wide range of extra-curricular activities, including sports, drama and music. On the downside, fees tend to be expensive. In addition to basic school fees, expat parents will need to budget for extra expenses such as textbooks, stationery, school uniforms and field trips. Some schools also provide a boarding option, which again comes at an additional cost.


Expats who opt to send their children to an international school should budget accordingly and try to negotiate some sort of schooling allowance into their relocation package.