The main focus of the study was to investigate the challenges of free primary education in public primary schools since its inception in 2003 in kenya. the study was carried out in 9 public primary schools in mombasa county coast province. the sample consisted of 9 head teachers 36 teachers and 18 pupils randomly selected. the study adopted a descriptive survey design. the study findings were that though teachers were highly qualified and experienced they were inadequate and that teacher-pupil ratio inadequate physical facilities and teacher professionalism all hindered provision of free primary education. the main challenges the school administration faced were high pupil enrolment inadequate teachers and instructional materials.