Achoka J. S. K, Mauyo L. W, Ogenga P. A. Maiyo J. K., Wepukhulu R. N. and Owano A.
The majority of Kenyans have some education. However, despite the impressive general increase of students’ enrolment, courtesy of government’s free primary and subsidized secondary schooling initiatives, a significant number of vulnerable persons in Kenya continue to have no or limited access to basic education. Barriers to their participation are partly due to inappropriate and inflexible nature of the formal school model itself. The objective of this paper was to assess the potential role of Open and Distance Learning in the provision of basic education to vulnerable persons in Kenya. Purposive sampling method was used to select the study area. Only secondary data sources were utilized. Data was analyzed using descriptive statistics. Results of the study indicate that, nationally 85% of the women and 92% of men are literate and that more boys than girls attend basic education. Further analysis indicated that although learning institutions increased from 2009 to 2010, 31.34% of learners in pre-primary, 28.36% in primary and 40.30% in secondary are out of school. Further results revealed that 3.9% of the total population are disabled with no basic education or semi-literate. It is concluded that Open and Distance Learning is a cost effective approach to reach all Kenyans with basic education. It is recommended that the Government and other educational stakeholders invest in distance learning infrastructure and design Open and Distance Learning programs that are responsive to emerging educational needs, especially for the vulnerable persons.
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