Primary education is free and compulsory for eight years. Children start school at the age of five or six and spend eight years at primary school; four years at secondary school; and a further four years at the university. In 1995, there were 5,544,998 primary students and 181,975 teachers, with a student-to-teacher ratio of 30 to 1. In general secondary schools, there were 632,388 and 41,484 teachers. The pupil-teacher ratio at the primary level was 29 to 1 in 1999. Projected adult illiteracy rates for the year 2000 stand at 17.5% (males, 11.0%; females, 24.0%). As of 1999, public expenditure on education was estimated at 6.6% of GDP.
There are four main universities in Kenya. Kenyatta University was founded in 1972 and is located in Nairobi. The University of Nairobi was founded in 1956 as the Royal Technical College of East Africa. The Moi University was founded in 1984 at Eldoret. The Egerton University, located at Njoro, was founded in 1939. The language of instruction in all the universities is English. There were 4,392 teaching staff and 35,421 students at universities and equivalent institutions in 1991.