The economics of costing and financing of education for development in Kenya: a research agenda in the 1980s and beyond
Riak, Isaac Cuir
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The central role of education for economic and social development has never been questioned. Indeed, most economists and other social scientists would probably agree that it is the human resources of a nation, not its capital nor its material resources that ultimately determine the character and pace of its economic and social development. All countries have committed themselves, therefore, to the goals of: "universal" primary education in the shortest possible time. As a result, a greater percentage of government budgets in the Third World countries has been allocated to education since the 1960s to the present. Even though education is widely recognized as a major force for promoting socio-economic development, and educational expenses are after the most important item in developing countries budgets, education is not contributing all it can to development. In addition, developing countries like Kenya are facing a mounting demand for more and better education. Adequate financing is required to produce greater quality and equality within the educational system and constant pressures are being applied to provide additional resources for the sector, The purpose of this paper is to enquire into the real possibility of the Republic of Kenya of costing and financing her educational objectives in the 1980s and beyond, bearing in mind the high level of expenditure that has already been reached, the constant rise in unit costs, increasing rate of unemployment, the implementation of 8-4-4 system and the increasing competition within the state budgets themselves that education will probably encounter in the future from the financing of productive investments, debt servicing and other predictable expenditures, The research proposal, therefore, aims at (a) Studying the real weight of probable financial constraints on the development of Kenyan educational system up to the year 200; (b) Investigating the various costing and financing methods, likely to augment resources and to define a strategy of education at costing and financing more closely adapted to social and economic realities of the Kenyan society and (c) Analyzing certain alternative solutions capable, by reducing costs or improving the efficiency of the teaching process, leading to a better balance between educational target and the resources available for them. Suggested areas for present and future research are discussed; they include the sources of financial resources, equity and efficiency considerations in financing, ways and means of improving efficiency the role and impact of students’ loan in Kenya, public and private schools in Kenya, cost analysis, data collection improvement, and Kenyan economic performance and the financing of education.