Kenya is the third largest East African country with a population of about 46.1 million. Seventy-four per cent of its population lives in rural areas and agriculture is a crucial driver of the steadily growing Kenyan economy. The Kenyan Government introduced free primary education in 2003 and secondary education is now well subsidised. 


School-age Population by Education Level1









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Secondary Education
for the school year ending in1









Gross Enrolment Ratio (GER) in Tertiary Education
for the school year ending 20171









Percentage of female teachers in 1




Secondary (2015)


Tertiary (2017)



1. UNESCO Institute for Statistics Data Centre, retrieved in March 2020


Literacy rate (2007)1




Adult (15+) literacy rate


Adult (15+) literacy rate



Economic Activity (2010)1




Adult (15+) economic activity


Adult (15+) economic activity



Political Decision Making (2014)1


Proportion of seats held by women in national parliament



Life expectancy (2012)1









1. COL gender country profile April 2015 


0.9 96.3
Fixed-telephone subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-cellular subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



0.7 41.9
Fixed-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1 Mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants1



7.2 17.8
Households with a computer (%)1 Individuals using the internet (%)1



1. International Telecommunication Union (ITU) ICT Eye Country profile, retrieved in March 2020



COL’s work in Kenya primarily addresses farmer and teacher education, open educational resources (OER) and technical and vocational education.

Lifelong Learning for Farmers

  • COL supported Kenya’s rural population to find appropriate technology-based solutions to improve their livelihoods. Vulnerable rural women and their families have been empowered to create their own self-directed learning process, organise themselves to solve the challenges of food security, and improve their living conditions.
  • An L3F study in Kenya showed that a 1 per cent increase in empowerment can increase the profits of enterprises by 2.3 per cent. The study also revealed that L3F farmers have higher average empowerment scores than their non-L3F counterparts. The study found that combining learning with social and financial capital was the critical success factor for empowerment.
  • COL supported Siaya SEED SACCO in championing the integration of L3F in Kenya’s cooperative sector.

Learn more about Lifelong Learning for Farmers.

OER for Skill Development

  • A five-day hands-on workshop on OER course development was conducted for 11 vocational and technical trainers from Ramogi Institute of Advanced Technology, Kisumu, Kenya. The purpose of the workshop was to develop a 100-hour certificate course on solar PV technology, which has since been offered by the institute.

Learn more about OER for Skills Development.

Open/Innovative Schooling

  • COL supported Elimu Digital Media to develop 117 science and 96 vocational television programmes, which are available online and broadcast on Elimu Digital Media.
  • COL launched impact studies of two Elimu Digital Media projects: enabling quality secondary science education through ICT and media; and enabling access to skill-based education for out-of-school youths.

Learn more about Open/Innovative Schooling.

Teacher Education

  • Open Resources for English Language Teaching (ORELT) materials are being used to improve the teaching of English in Kenya, reaching 300 teachers and 714 students. ORELT comprises a collection of open content (OER) — including multimedia resources that are available in online, offline and printed formats — that supports classroom teaching in junior second­ary schools.
  • Three East African universities, including Egerton University in Kenya, in August 2016 collectively launched a project called DigiTeacher. This project addresses the challenges arising from the integration of information and communication technologies (ICT) in teaching and learning in the region. Through the DigiTeacher project, the three universities are designing a Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate in ICT Integration in Education.
  • In response to market demands that require innovative educational methods, Kenyatta University in 2016 transformed the course materials in its teacher training course from simple print-based modules to vibrant, multimedia e-content.
  • Twenty-one teacher-educators have been trained in a wide array of topics, including OER, social media, models of technology integration, and planning for technology integration.

Learn more about Teacher Education. 

Technical and Vocational Skills Development

  • Sixteen course plans that integrate the sustainable develop­ment principles of economic growth, environmental conservation and social inclusion were developed at a workshop hosted by the Kenya Technical Train­ers’ College. The workshop included educators from Kenya and resulted in plans for cascading the training to other teachers.
  • Kenya adopted COL’s flexible and blended (FaB) TVET model and increased their partnership to 44 institutions.
  • At a five-day workshop in Nakuru, Kenya in May 2016, six INVEST Africa Master Champions worked in collaboration with COL’s Open Educational Resources Adviser to train 36 new Champions in the FaB TVET model and in open, distance and flexible learning institutional policy.
  • COL supported Thika Technical Training Institute in capacity building for a tracer study to collect data on the outcomes for learners.

Learn more about Technical and Vocational Skills Development.

Technology-Enabled Learning

Learn more about Technology-Enabled Learning.


Partnerships are fundamental to COL’s work. Strategic partnerships allow COL to broaden its reach and engage at global, regional and national levels, while implementation partners support COL’s work in communities and institutions across Commonwealth Member States. Partners include multilateral organisations, regional bodies, national governments, government agencies, foundations, civil society organisations, public and private (not-for-profit) institutions and the private sector.

COL’s partners in Kenya include:

  • Egerton University
  • Elimu Digital Media
  • Jaramogi Oginga Odinga University of Science and Technology
  • Kenya AIDS Intervention Prevention Project Group
  • Kenya Institute of Special Education
  • Kenya National Farmers Federation
  • Kenya Technical Trainers College
  • Kenyatta University
  • Masai Technical Training Institute
  • Ministry of Education
  • Siaya SEED Savings and Credit Cooperative
  • Ugunja Community Resource Centre