Both Public and Private schools have said they will use different uniforms for Grade Seven learners next year.
In recent meetings which ended this week for both Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) and Kenya Private Schools Association (Kepsa) said that they will use different uniform for junior secondary school learners.
Junior secondary school involves Grade 7, 8 and 9. Interim report of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform has proposed junior secondary school to be domiciled in the existing primary schools but a different set of uniform to be used.
A member of the taskforce said that the junior secondary school learners will wear different uniform because in future institutions willl have their own Principal, teachers and Board of Managements (BOM).
“Junior secondary school is secondary, only that they will share a compound with the primary school. It will have its own teachers and later its own principal, when properly constituted,” a member of the taskforce had said.
However for now primary school headteachers will be incharge of junior secondary schools domiciled inside their primary schools.
A senior teacher from among the junior secondary school teachers will be identified to help with day to day running of the institutions.
The taskforce also said an extra classroom and laboratory will be built in every primary school. The construction of laboratories will be given priority within the next one year.
Members of Parliament were asked to work towards providing support for the extra facilities. Meanwhile, primary schools neighboring secondary schools will share the laboratories and other facilities with junior secondary schools.
All junior secondary school learners will also be day scholars. This is after the Ministry of Education said it will abolish boarding schools for primary schools and junior secondary schools from next year.
Speaking in Mombasa, principal secretary for Basic Education, Dr Belio Kipsang, said the learners need to be close to their parents and guardians.
“The real reason we want to do away with boarding schools is to make education affordable. On average, parents pay up to Sh45,000 per year in extra county schools and Sh53,000 in national schools. It’s even higher in private schools,” explained the PS.
The policy shift is one of the recommendations made by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms and presented to President William Ruto last week.
Parents will also bear a lesser burden of the cost of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) if the government follows recommendations on education financing and allocates more money for tuition.
The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms suggested that the government increase the capitation, which has been inadequate, forcing parents to dig deep into their pockets.
Currently, government capitation towards free education has no allocation to CBC instruction materials and is still pegged to the 8-4-4. Schools where junior secondary school will be hosted will receive enhanced funding.
Sources say President William Ruto agreed with the suggestion in a meeting and asked the Ministry of Education to work out the details of how that will be actualised.
He argued that many of the items parents are asked to buy for their children are tuition components whose cost should be shouldered by the government.