Concerns have been expressed regarding the young age of students starting junior secondary school in January under the new curriculum.
Schools may accept students as young as ten years old, according to the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Associations (KSSHA).
“If you look at the recent Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) report, it’s clear that we have a lot of underage children in our schools,” said Kahi Indimuli, chairman of the Kenya Institute of Special Education in Nairobi, during the launch of Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) training for secondary school teachers.
The number of KCPE candidates aged 12 and under registered increased from 26,378 (2.21 percent) in 2020 to 33,627 last year. (2.74%) is a percentage of the total.
“This presents a challenge because secondary and primary teacher training differs in terms of how to handle learners, and I’m hoping that one of the components of this CBD training will include management of younger children,” Mr Indimuli said.
TSC and the Ministry of Education should continue to enhance teacher capacity and establish institutions with student-friendly facilities, according to Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary-General Akello Misori.
Mr Misori expressed his concerns in this respect, saying, “How do you make a 12-year-old child travel all the way from Mombasa to a junior secondary school in Kisumu, for example, away from their parents?”
Students in junior and senior secondary schools, he said, should be taught to cohabit successfully despite their age gaps.
“There will be no difficulty as long as we have the necessary infrastructure to accommodate them, such as boarding facilities, lockers, and professors,” he stated.
The new 2-6-3-3 system, unlike the previous 8-4-4 system, will cover junior and senior secondary schools.