From June 1, the Ministry of Education will begin inspecting classrooms built by private schools to accommodate junior secondary school students for compliance.
The classrooms are intended to supplement those being built by the government in anticipation of an increase in enrolment as children transitioning to junior secondary in January under the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
“CBC classrooms are being built at private schools right now. From the first of next month, we’ll be inspecting them. “We’ll do that for about two weeks across the country so that by the time we give you the final report on public classrooms, we’ll also be able to tell you that we’ve inspected and confirmed the number of classrooms in private institutions,” Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said over the weekend.
He made the remarks while reviewing the construction of a classroom at Merishaw School in Isinya, Kajiado County. Inspectors will be looking for adherence to Ministry of Education health and safety regulations.
Junior secondary schools will be housed in secondary schools, according to the ministry. It has, however, encouraged private primary schools with junior secondary wing capacity to accept some of the kids. Secondary school teachers will instruct the students in such settings. According to the most recent government data, there are 203,448 students enrolled in private secondary schools.
Private schools wishing to establish secondary school sections are required to re-register with the ministry. Under the CBC, primary school will go up to Grade Six, meaning that private schools that do not take up junior secondary stand to lose business.
Grades seven, eight, and nine will make up junior secondary, after which students will move on to senior secondary for grades ten, eleven, and twelve. The length of time spent at university has been lowered from four to three years.
“We’re examining our spaces and curriculum, with the academic and operations teams working together to guarantee we’re ready,” Katya Nyangi, the communications director of Makini Schools in Nairobi, said.
In November, 1.25 million Grade Six students will take the Kenya Primary Education Assessment, which will replace the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, with 1,320,395 Form One students participating at the same time.
This is predicted to increase secondary school enrollment from 4,381,701 to 6,029,168 students. When the last class of the 8-4-4 graduates from primary school in 2024, the double intake will be repeated.
“The anticipated increase in enrolment will necessitate the development of laboratories, libraries, washrooms, and other educational resources.” According to a report by a task force on CBC implementation, “effective transition requires statewide and local context-specific planning to guarantee that all learners are fairly positioned.”
The government targeted to build 10,000 classrooms by end of July but phase one, which was to be completed in March before the beginning of national examinations, remains incomplete. The plan was to build 6,497 classrooms in phase one. The CS put the completion rate at 96 per cent.
The second phase, according to Prof Magoha, will begin next month. Some contractors have protested that the Sh788,000 funding per classroom is insufficient to meet the ministry’s criteria. The CS, on the other hand, has ruled out the idea of an increase.
Prof Magoha also launched the World Bank-funded Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (Seqip) last week, which would spend Sh22.8 billion on infrastructural projects in 30 counties.
President Kenyatta placed the project on hold in 2019 because it was damaged by corruption, which drew the notice of a worldwide financier, who demanded a new procurement process.