Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha has asked private schools expecting to admit Junior secondary school students to ensure they have a science laboratory approved by the ministry of education.
The CS has pointed out that most schools have complied while others are still in the process, saying the schools which have not complied have been given more time to do so.
Prof Magoha said the laboratories will be useful especially for the practical part of science related subjects.
On Tuesday, August 30, Education PS Jwan Julius said schools that meet the required standards within the next 10 days will be updated in the online junior secondary application portal.
“In the long run, we shall have captured all of them and therefore there shall be no cause for alarm,” he said.
Magoha extended junior secondary selection deadline to September 10 but many schools say they are yet to prepare enough space for the transitioning learners.
Others claim the classrooms set aside would not be adequate due to the high number of students expected to join the junior secondary schools from Grade Six.
The new secretary-general of the National Parents Association, Eskimos Kobia, also admitted that all was not well.
He gave an example of Naivasha, where each school was benefiting from one new classroom in the first phase yet there are over 400 students in Grade Six in most public schools.
“We shall in the coming days engage the ministry on listing all junior secondary schools, school fees and the completion of the classrooms on time,” he said.
Nakuru Director of Education Fredrick Osewe noted that all public schools in the county were in the portal.
He said private schools not listed had not met the standards.
“We have over 180 public schools from the county in the portal and we are in the second phase of construction CBC classes,” he said.
But according to one head teacher in Naivasha, some schools were missing from the list, leaving parents and students in confusion.
“We are glad that the government has reviewed the deadline as tens of schools are missing from the selection portal,” said the teacher.
Another teacher from Kinangop in Nyandarua County noted that stand-alone primary schools were the most affected.
“We have primary schools that don’t neighbour a secondary school, meaning that they will have to use the few classrooms to host the coming number of students,” said the teacher.
In Uasin Gishu, the principal of Little Lambs Schools Benjamin Wemali said they had completed 16 classrooms for junior secondary, and the construction of a laboratory was underway yet the school had not been placed in the portal yet.
“We have the codes which show that we are approved to host junior secondary. Whether our school name appears in the portal or not, it does not mean that we cannot host a junior secondary school,” he said.
A principal in a public school in Kisumu also claimed that the name of their school is missing from the selection list.
“We are in the process of preparing the infrastructure for learners who will join the junior secondary school but the name of our school is not among them,” said the head teacher.
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) blamed the ministry for lack of clarity on the process.
“The extra time extended by CS Magoha should be used to rectify these anomalies failure to which many learners will be denied access to education,” said Kisumu branch executive secretary, Zablon Awange.
He asked the ministry to allow students in private institutions to choose public schools of their choice.
Charles Ochome, the national chairperson of the Kenya Private Schools Association, however, said that the process is still on and all matters will be resolved.
On the candidates who are set to do their examinations in November, Prof Magoha said the students are well prepared and majority have completed their syllabus and should there be any issues arising, the government will be dealing with them.