Requirements to start a school in Kenya

Every Kenyan parent wants what is best for their child by taking them to the best private or public school. However, most public schools need more resources and infrastructure to meet all the needs to equip the children with the latest educational requirements. Again the schools have a very high student-teacher ratio which reduces the quality of education offered.

To bridge this gap individuals and other organizations have established private schools that try to eliminate the gap.

To start a private school in Kenya you should meet the basic requirements such as a safe and secure location, sanitation facilities, qualified teachers, governance structure, following the KICD curriculum, and maintaining necessary teaching and learning material among others.

In this article, we look at what it takes to start a private or public school in Kenya

Stages and steps when applying to start a school

The steps can be used when you want to start a preschool, primary school, secondary school, or teacher training college.

Application to District Education Board (DEB) and Local Authority

The person or the organization interested in starting the school makes an official request to the Ministry of Education through DEB in a specified location. The application should include the proposed name of the school, the name and qualification of the manager, and land details of where the school is situated.

Inspection by public Health and Quality Assurance and Standards officers

The inspector will visit the location to check on where the school will be located. They check if the area is secure for learners and other staff, if sanitization facilities are enough, and in good condition. General they check if the infrastructure in place can be used for a school for the number of learners requested.

Approval by DEB to start a school and issuance of Registration Guidelines.

The DEB gives the guideline on what is supposed to be done and they give recommendations as per the assessment they have done. After the improvement of recommended areas, the person can now fill out the registration form and submit it to the DEB offices.

Submission of the documents to the MOE and approval

On behalf of the applicant, the DEB officer submits the request to the Ministry for approval using the recommendation the DEB gives. The approval is done and a provisional, full, or re-registration certificate is issued.

With the certificate the individual or the organization can go on and start the school.

Provisional registration

When starting a school the individual is required to request the Ministry of Education through the district education board. The school will be in provision for one year until the time the quality assurance will be satisfied that it has all the requirements and issue a final acceptance certificate.

The inspection is done by the county education board in collaboration with TSC.

Duties and responsibilities of private school

According to the Basic Education Act, the following are the duties and responsibilities of private schools to be legible for registration.

  1. Establish necessary educational and governance structures.
  2. Recruit registered teachers.
  3. Comply with and follow the approved curriculum as per the KICD guidelines.
  4. Maintain premises that meet occupational health, safety regulations, and building standards requirements.
  5. Maintain necessary teaching and learning materials.
  6. Maintain a data bank on pupils undertaking education in the school and submit it to the Cabinet Secretary.
  7. Where requested by the Cabinet Secretary, provide evidence that pupils are making reasonable educational progress appropriate for their age and grade level based upon results of nationally recognized standardized achievement tests.

Basic physical facilities for school registration

The school should have a conducive environment for learners, teachers, and other workers. It should have all the basic facilities to facilitate learning. The school should also cater to learners who are physically challenged.

The main physical facilities that should be in place for a school are administration, tuition area, sanitation for staff and students, dormitories, water, and health and safety measures among other basic amenities.

Guidelines for the physical facilities required when establishing a private school as per the Basic Education Regulations 2015 include. These requirements are the same for public schools.

  1. Outdoor playing facilities and equipment, both outdoors and indoors with provisions for persons with disabilities.
  2. Administrative offices.
  3. Sanitary facilities, including bathrooms for both learners and other persons, are segregated by gender and age.
  4. Kitchen and dining room.
  5. Standard classrooms measuring 7m x 8m for 50 learners for primary school or 45 learners for secondary schools or standard classrooms measuring 7m x 6m for 25 learners for pre-primary learners.
  6. Store rooms.
  7. A science room or other rooms for specialized subjects.
  8. All boarding institutions shall have provisions for, a qualified nurse, a watchman, and adult supervision within the boarding facilities.