The Ministry of Education will publish, in two weeks time, guidelines that will be used by schools to admit learners to junior secondary school (JSS).
The rules have been developed to give direction on the transition and implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) in JSS, the Principal Secretary for Curriculum Implementation Fatuma Chege said.
Prof Chege revealed that, once “administrative processes” have been dispensed with, the documents will be published and the public will get an insight into how the transition will be done.
There will be a double-intake in January when the pioneer CBC class and candidates currently in Standard Eight move to secondary school.
The learners under CBC will undertake the first Kenya Primary Education Assessment (KPSEA) in November.
It will be a summative assessment weighted at 40 per cent that will add to the 60 per cent formative assessments they did in Grade Four, Five and Six.
Prof Chege said transition committees will be formed at the county, sub-county and school levels. The members of the committees will further be trained using the tools and structures contained in the document.
“They will work to ensure that the transition is a corporate activity,” she said, adding that the committees will conceptualise and recommend integration to avoid creating demarcation between learners in CBC and 8-4-4.
Various stakeholders have raised concerns over the placement, infrastructure, content and staffing of JSS.
The PS encouraged parents to enroll their children in junior secondary as day-scholars. She added that boarding secondary schools that wish to establish day sections will be allowed to do so.
Prof Chege said the committees will rationalise that capacity of teachers, adding that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) should consider “roving teachers” for learning areas with shortages. Such teachers, she said, can teach in more than one school.
The PS told the principals to familiarise themselves with the CBC curriculum designs and identify and publicize the optional subjects their schools will offer.
To fill the infrastructural gaps, the government is building 10,000 classrooms in secondary schools with 6,497 units completed in the first phase of the project.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has also reached out to private schools to establish JSS sections to complement government efforts.
Prof Magoha has also hinted that the ministry will place JSS learners in some private schools, while encouraging parents with children in private schools to retain them there for JSS.
Owners and directors of private schools have assured the government of their support in executing the JSS, and that they have already started improving their infrastructure to accommodate the learners.
They spoke during the annual Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) conference in Mombasa, which brought together over 1,000 private school owners.
“We’re discussing and trying to find ways and solutions to overcome the challenges that have emerged from the CBC,” KPSA Chairman Charles Ochome said.
He said many private schools have set up and equipped labs and ICT centres as required by the Ministry of Education.
Some private school owners complained that they are grappling with financial challenges due to low enrolment of pupils as parents prefer to take their children to either public or international schools.
Regarding the training of teachers on CBC, the KPSA officials said they will collaborate with the TSC although some schools are already doing it.