Benefits of non-formal education to jua kali artisans: a study of the Informal Sector Business Institute (ISBI), Nairobi, kenya.
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At independence, Kenyan education was based on racial segregation, in this arrangement; Africans received an inferior form of education, which was elementary and later were trained as masons, carpenters and armature architects. The Ominde commission saw the need to reform education so that it would become a means of establishing social equity (Rharade, 1997) and training the highly skilled staff that Kenya needed. The manpower needs approach reached its climax in the 1970s. The Gachathi Report (Republic of Kenya, 1976) recommended vocationalisation of education at secondary school level. Since the introduction of the 8-4-4 system of education in 1985, the education system has increasingly turned out large number of school leavers at all levels. Many of these graduates are not able to obtain gainful employment in the formal sector and thus end up in the informal sector. Recent policy initiatives have focused on the attainment of Universal Primary Education (UPE) and the key concerns of access, equity, quality and relevance. This has come under scrutiny in the light of the fact that there has been a drastic decline in enrollment particularly at the primary school level. This situation has improved after the introduction of free primary education. Increased attention to UPE has come in the wake of the Jomtein World Conference (1990) on Education For All (EFA) to whose resolutions Kenya is signatory. The recent implementation of free primary education is an effort by the government to attain UPE and the final attainment of EFA. The EFA strategies include the establishment of a policy on the re-entry of school-age mothers into the education system and the establishment of a non-formal education unit in the Ministry of Education Science and Technology. The data collected for the study was both qualitative and quantitative in nature. Descriptive statistics were used to analyse quantitative data. Qualitative data was analyzed by coding categories, which were organized according to particular research questions. The researcher then evaluated the information collected with a view to establishing its usefulness and answered the research questions thus enabling the researcher make recommendations based on the findings. This study investigated how and to what extent non-formal education provided by the Informal Sector Business Institute (ISBI) benefits the Jua Kali artisans in business development services in Makadara area of Nairobi. The researcher came up with recommendations that may improve this initiative. Using a Z-test statistic, it was found that those artisans who had undergone the ISBI training had a significantly higher percentage of artisans who had business plans, kept business records and practiced business ethics than those artisans who had not undergone the ISBI training. Business skills and Information Technology should be incorporated into training programmes meant for the informal sector. Entrepreneurial skills should be taught at all levels of education and the government should fund NFE programmes especially those meant for the informal sector. A linkage should be established between the informal sector and the formal education system.