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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 19:04 GMT 20:04 UK
Kenya to scrap high school fees
School children in Kenya
Enrolment at junior schools has soared since 2003
Kenya's president has promised to scrap secondary school tuition fees from next year for pupils at public schools.

Mwai Kibaki, who is seeking re-election this year, made the announcement at a May Day rally in the capital, Nairobi.

"My government will meet the cost of tuition... at a cost of 4.3bn Kenya shillings," ($63m) he said.

Mr Kibaki came to power in 2002 with a promise to introduce free primary education which has seen enrolment rise by almost two million children.

But other election pledges have not been fulfilled and Mr Kibaki's term in office has been dogged by high-level corruption and nepotism scandals.

Correspondents say he faces a tough re-election campaign before polls set for December.

Over the weekend, the government said that parents who refused to send their children to junior school would be jailed.

It estimates that some 700,000 children remain out of school despite the free primary schooling.

Mr Kibaki told crowds at Uhuru Park that if more children went on to senior school it would make Kenya competitive globally.

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