President Uhuru Kenyatta, during the Mashujaa day celebrations in Kirinyaga, made the announcement that the government will set aside sh. 8 billion for constructing 10,000 junior secondary classes.
“Ministry of Education, jointly with Ministry of Interior and the National Treasury, shall establish a framework for the construction of the over 10,000 classrooms needed to provide the additional learning space required for the one million new students set to join junior secondary,” said Uhuru in Kirinyaga.
Junior secondary school will comprise of Grades 7, 8 and 9. In 2023, pioneer learners under the new 2-6-3-3-3 Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) system will transition to junior secondary school after sitting the Grade Six national examinations.
The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) said curriculum designs from Grade One to Ten are ready.
The Head of State also appealed to MPs to give the programme priority in the National Government Constituencies Development Fund by constructing additional 10,000 classrooms.
“I call on all Members of Parliament to stand together in solidarity with our children by prioritising allocation of the CDF towards school infrastructure,” he said.
This means that by 2023 when the first CBC cohort will join junior secondary schools, 20,000 new classrooms should be ready.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) said it will train high school teachers to handle Grade 7, 8 and 9 which are the junior secondary classes.
TSC said at least 60,000 high school teachers will, in March and April next year, be trained in preparation for the rollout of junior secondary.
TSC will also train primary school teachers who will handle Grade Six pupils in December 2021.
Yesterday the president said the classrooms, each at about Sh810,000, should be constructed by contractors based near the schools, and the money will be “remitted directly to the contractors in their respective sub-counties.”
“This initiative will tap into the skilled manpower within the counties, empowering locals with enhanced economic opportunities,” said Uhuru.
These new classrooms will, however, be 17,000 less, as the CBC task force report projected that the government needs to create 37,000 new ones nationally to cater for the anticipated double intake of learners.
During that year, CBC pioneer learners will join junior secondary school after sitting the Grade Six national examinations, while the present Class Seven learners under the 8-4-4 system will join Form One after sitting KCPE examinations.
The total number of Grade Six and Standard Eight learners expected to join secondary school will be about 2,571,044.
However, available space for those joining secondary school is only 1,081,900.
“This indicates a significant shortfall of 1,489,144 places in secondary schools in 2023,” reads the CBC task force report.
In 2023 when Grade 6 will move to Grade 7 (junor secondary) it is also the year Class Six learners under the 8-4-4 education system will join Form One after sitting the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education Examinations (KCPE), thereby presenting a huge infrastructure and staffing challenge of hosting 2.6 million children.