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Social Developments and Challenges - History Form 4

Social Developments and Challenges Since Indepence in Kenya

In this topic we shall discuss social, economic and political developments and challenges in Kenya since Independence. We shall discuss political developments from 1963-1991; types of land holdings in Kenya and land policies; as well as Education developments between 1963 and 2011.

People who shaped the politics of Kenya

Prior Knowledge

Kenya got her independence from Britain in 1963. In 1964 Kenya became a republic with an elected president as head of state and government. Click on the play button to view video.


By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

1. Discuss the political developments in Kenya since independence.

2. Discuss political challenges in Kenya since independence.

Political Developments

Political Developments

In order to understand the political development, we shall listen to an interesting dialogue between a grandfather and a grandson.

From the Conversation we have heard that Kenya attained Independence from the British in 1963. The main parties at this time were KANU and KADU. However KADU dissolved itself and joined KANU to form a unitary government under President Jomo Kenyatta as the first executive president.


We have also heard that before 1966, there was only one party. The first post independence party Kenya Peoples Union was formed in 1966 by Jaramogi Oginga Odinga. President Kenyatta ruled Kenya until his death in 1978.


Daniel Arap Moi succeeded him in the same year. President Moi strengthened KANU by conducting massive recruitment. In 1979, he banned all tribal organizations and unions. In 1982, Kenya became a one party state by law with KANU as the sole legal political party. We have also heard that there were other constitutional amendments. In 1987, the electoral constituencies were increased from 158 to 188.


In 1988, queuing system of voting was introduced in the general election. In 1990, the quing system of voting was abolished and secret ballot system introduced. in 1991, section 2 (A) of the constitution was repealed and multi-party legalized

Political Challenges

Kenya had experienced several political challenges since independence.

1. In 1965 Pio Gama Pinto an elected KANU member of Asian origin was murdered.

2. In 1969, Thomas Joseph Mboya, the then MP for Bahati constituency and minister for economic planning and development was assassinated. This caused riots in Kisumu, Nairobi and other major towns in Kenya.

3. In 1975 Josiah Mwangi Kariuki popularly known as J.M. was brutally maurdered. His murder caused major riots by the university students and other members of the public.

4. In 1978, Kenya faced a major political challenge when the first president of the republic of Kenya, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died.

5. In 1982 there was an attempted coup in the government by the Kenya Air force soldiers. This led to looting, loss of lives and destruction of property.

6. In 1990, Dr. Robert Ouko, Minister for Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation was brutally murdered. This led to riots throughout the country especially the university students.

7. In 1991 some parts of Kenya mainly in the Rift Valley, Nyanza, Coast and Western provinces were hit by ethnic clashes. As a result many people died and others were displaced.


By the end of this lesson you should be able to:

1. Discuss the economic developments and challenges since independence.

Types of Land Holding in Kenya and Land Policies

Did you know that the land policy was revised with the progulmation of the constitution? In this lesson we will discuss types of land holding in Kenya and land policies.

Types of land holding in Kenya

Land in Kenya is held, used and managed in a manner that is equitable, efficient, productive and sustainable

1. All land in Kenya belongs to the people of Kenya collectively as a nation, as communities and as individuals.
2. Land in Kenya is classified as public, communal or private.

Let us discuss each of these types of land holdings.

Part of Land in Kenya

Public Land

Public land can be defined as, Government land. It cna be said to be;

1. Land occupied or used by a state organ

2. Land transferred to the state by the way of sale revision or by way of surrender

3. Unclaimed land by an individual or a community

4. All minerals and mineral oils

5. Government forests, game reserves, water catchment areas, national parks etc

6. All roads

7. All rivers, lakes and other water bodies

8. Any land not classified as private or community

All land is managed by A National Land Commission.

Mt. Kenya, which is public land

Community Land

What do you understand by the term Community Land?

1. Community land is land held by communities identified on the basis of ethnicities, culture and similar community of interest.

2. It is Land lawfully registered in the name of group representatives.

3. It is Land lawfully transferred to a specific community by any process of law.

4. It is Land that is lawfully managed or used by specific community as forests, grazing areas or shrines.

5. It is Ancestral lands and lands traditionally occupied by hunter gatherer community lawfully held as trust land by the county governments.

An African village located on communal land.

Private Land

What do you understand by the term private land?

1. It is Registered land held by any person under any freehold tenure

2. It is Land held by any person under lease of tenure

3. It is Land declared private under an act of Parliament

Maize grown in a private land

Holding by Non Citizens

Several factors determine the conditions in which a non citizen can hold land in Kenya.

1. A person who is not a Kenyan citizen may hold land on the basis of leasehold tenure which shall not exceed 99years

2. A body corporate shall be regarded as a citizen only if the body corporate is wholly owned by one or more citizens

3. Property held in trust shall be regarded as being held by a citizen only if all of the beneficial interest of the trust is held by persons who are citizens

Land Policies

Land Policies

Land policies are guidelines set by the government which regulate the ownership, acquisition [distribution] and utilization of land. Since independence in 1963 the government has embarked on several methods to tackle the economic problems affecting the people especially in relation to land. One of these methods was through lands policies.

Examples of these are;

1. Settlement and resettlement

2. Land consolidation

3. Agricultural development corporation

4. Diversification of agriculture

5. Irrigation schemes

6. Conservation of the environment

7. Mechanization

Challenges of Land Policies Since Independence

Challenges of Land Policies Since Independence

Land issues in Kenya have been very sensitive since independence. Some of the challenges on land policies include;

1. Population pressure

2. Conflicts arising from issues of land ownership and use

3. Massive corruption eg. Land grabbing

4. Inappropriate methods of establishing settlement schemes

5. Inadequate funds to complete the process of land demarcation and adjudication

6. Inaccurate and incomplete records of land in the Ministry of land and Settlement making it difficult to verify land ownership records and allocation

Prior Knowledge

During the colonial period in Kenya the Africans were discriminated in the provision of social services. The African communities in Kenya received very poor educational services. At the onset of independence, the Founding Father of our Nation (Jomo Kenyatta) outlined ignorance as one of the enemies of progress. Through the sessional paper No. 10 of 1965, Education was proposed as a strategy to eradicate ignorance, thus the various changes that have taken place in the education sector since independence.


By the end of the lesson, you should be able to:

1. Discuss the developments that have taken place in the Education Sector in Kenya since independence.

2.Analyse the challenges facing the Education Sector.

Education Developments

There have been several changes that have taken place in the Education sector since Independence. In this lesson, we shall address those that took place between 1963 and 2011.

University of Nairobi one of Education Institutions in Kenya

Education Developments

Education Developments

1.From 1963 racial schools were abolished and the government started supplementing missionary schools with teachers.

2. Kenya Institute of Education was established in 1964 to conduct research and prepare the curriculum for pre-primary to secondary school.

3. 1967 - Teachers Service Commission was created to manage the teaching profession.

4. The government has established various education commissions over time to make changes in education system to make it relevant to the changing times. These include:

a) Ominde 1964

b) Gachathi 1976

c) Mackay 1981

d) Kamunge 1988

e) Koech 2002

5. National Exams were administered by East African Examination Council until 1977 when KNEC was formed to replace E.A.E.C. after the collapse of East African Community.

6. Names of national examinations have changed over the years as follows: In primary up to 1966 students sat for KAPE at Std. In 1967 KAPE was replaced with CPE at Std 7. In 1985 CPE was replaced with KCPE at Std 8.

7. In secondary schools, up to 1966 Cambridge Overseas Secondary Certificate was awarded to Form 4.

8. 1967 the Cambridge oversees school certificate was replaced with EACE up to 1977 when it became KCE, currently this exam is KCSE (8-4-4) since 1989.

9. KJSE introduced in 1970 at Form II in Harambee Schools has been abolished together with KACE at Form VI after the introduction of the 8-4-4 system.

10. Free primary education was introduced in 1974 which failed on the way. After NARC government took over, free primary education was implemented which was extended to secondary in 2006.

11. Over time many middle level institutions have been established to offer technical and vocational training.

Over the years, university education has expanded greatly with establishment of many public and private universities.

Public; University of Nairobi (UNO); Moi University; Kenyatta University; Egerton University; Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT); Maseno University; Masinde Muliro University.

Private; United States International University; Dayster University; Catholic University; Baraton University; Kenya Methodist University (KEMU); Nazarene University; Mount Kenya University (MKU)

Challenges Facing Education in Kenya

Challenges Facing Education in Kenya

Education sector in Kenya has continued to face many challenges especially due to rapid increase in population. Some of these challenges include;

1. Inadequate funds to finance the education.

2. Inadequate facilities like classrooms books etc.

3. Inadequate personnel i.e. qualified teachers.

4. Teacher-student ratio is very high.

5. low salaries leading to strikes from teachers and lecturers.

6. Frequent riots from schools, polytechnics and public universities.

7. Academic theoretical oriented education.

8. Few higher education institutions eg. Public universities.

9. Brain drain from qualified personnel in higher learning institutions.

9. Due to high poverty levels and early pregnancies many children are dropping out of school.

10.Mismanagement of learning institutions and embezzlement of funds.

11. Gender inequality.

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