Primary education targets children aged between six and 13 years. The goal of the sub-sector is to provide access to quality education to all eligible children on an equal basis and prepare them for secondary education and training. Primary education has witnessed phenomenal growth since the NARC government abolished levies as it introduced free schooling in 2003. The number of primary school pupils rose dramatically, from 5.9 million in 2002 to 7.2 million, in 2003 to 7.4 million, in 2004 to about 7.6 million in 2005. Table 3 shows enrollments in primary schools in Kenya between 2001 - 2005. Although the national figures have gone up exponentially, there are regional imbalances. Some regions like the North Eastern Province, parts of Coast, Rift Valley and Eastern provinces and urban slums have generally lower enrollments which is even worse for girls.
Some of the challenges facing primary education are large numbers of pupils in classrooms, inadequate facilities in schools to meet the needs of increased enrollments shortage of teachers and inadequate places in secondary for primary school leavers.