After the Ministry of Education set new conditions for schools to host junior secondary schools ahead of Grade Seven enrollment, parents and school administrators are in a new dilemma.
In a circular made public on Sunday, January 8, the Ministry set a slew of conditions for schools, including infrastructure, enrollment numbers, and personnel resources.
Schools in urban and crowded locations, for example, must have at least 45 students or risk being merged.
“Primary schools with an enrolment of fewer than 45 learners will serve as feeder schools to other JSSs within a two-kilometre proximity,” the circular reads in part.
During the review, schools will be expected to demonstrate that they have the needed number of qualified teachers with a minimum education level of a diploma.
Teachers would also be required to demonstrate their ability to teach the additional courses as part of the competency-based curriculum (CBC).
Because of the practical aspect of CBC, all junior secondary schools are required to have an Integrated Science Laboratory.
The checklist from the Ministry also includes two extra classes for junior secondary schools, suitable sanitation, hygienic food handling, and adequate playgrounds.
Head teachers have complained that some of the criteria are prohibitively expensive, particularly the construction and equipment of laboratories.
“We must invest considerably to ensure that the laboratories are equipped and that we hire an experienced laboratory technician,” said school director John Maina.
President William Ruto announced a slew of measures to guarantee that schools are ready to welcome Grade 7 students in a joint media interview on January 4.
Ruto mentioned that institutions with additional classrooms can convert some of them into laboratories. He advocated that schools in close proximity share some of the facilities.
The new regulations apply to both public and private primary schools.