The purpose of this Paper was to provide a historical perspective of the theory and practice of non-formal education in post-colonial Kenya. It focuses on programmes for out-of-primary school age-group in both rural and urban Kenya. It posits that the meaning of the concept of non-formal education was tied to its history. This was illustrated through an analysis of various non-formal education programmes in post-colonial Kenya. The study also observed that, often, owing to diversity of providers, learners and objectives, the theory and practice of non-formal education varied in time and space. Primary and secondary data was drawn from field research, Kenya National Archives and other public libraries. Oral interviews and documents analysis were the main techniques used in data collection. Narrative and analytical styles of writing were employed. The study was restricted to the main programmes and features of non-formal education for out-of-primary school youth in post-colonial Kenya.
Key words: concept and practice of non-formal education, out-of-primary school youth, rehabilitation programmes.