The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has ordered all school Headteachers and Principals to report to their various working station on 16th January 2023.
Public and private primary and secondary schools are scheduled to reopen on 23rd January 2023. Form 1 and Grade 7 learners will report on 30th January 2023.
The Commission has asked school heads to report earlier due to the many activities awaiting schools when they officially reopen.
In primary schools the government will be rolling out junior secondary Grade 7 class. So far thousands of primary schools have been registered to start junior secondary section this month.
Countrywide assessment of junior secondary school which started on 9th January will end on 20th January 2023.
The Education Ministry released a checklist to guide the assessment of the junior secondary schools.
The Ministry will consider the enrollment of students, the availability of facilities and security to determine which schools will host junior secondary school and which ones will be merged.
The document says FEEDER SCHOOL refers to a Primary School that lacks the enrolment and/or infrastructural capacity to domicile a JSS.
In such cases, the Ministry of Education will transfer the learners to a neighbouring JSS or implement appropriate affirmative action to ensure 100 percent transition.
In high density areas and urban informal settlements Primary Schools with an enrolment of less than 45 learners or those lacking the basic facilities to hosta JSS will serve as Feeder Schoolsto other JSSs within a 2 kilometres proximity.
In geographically expansive, low density and insecurity prone areas, as well as for learners with special needs and disability, the Government through the Ministry of Education will implement affirmative action, regardless of the enrolments.
The School will be judged Good, Fair or Poor as tabulated
|75 – 100%||Good||The school is recommended for registration to offer the JSE curriculum as it has met most of the requirements.|
|50 – 74%||Fair||The school has met some requirements but a second assessment is required for its registration to offer the JSE curriculum.|
|Below 50%||Poor||The school has not met most of the requirements and has not been recommended for registration to offer the JSE curriculum.|
It has been established that primary school head teachers will act as the principals of the junior secondary schools until the end of this year.
The head teachers will also be the secretaries of junior secondary boards of management and will oversee the financial management of the high school wing.
Students in Junior Secondary school will also get government capitation per child as is presently done for other high school learners.
The board of Junior Secondary will be distinct from that of the primary school. These details emerged as anxiety is building among parents and teachers over the progression of Grade Six learners to Junior Secondary school barely two weeks before schools reopen on January 23.
Other parameters the Ministry will be looking at are; the number of teaching and non-teaching staff, the equipment available at the schools, the size and ownership of the land, at least two extra classrooms for JSS, availability of laboratory and workshop, physical infrastructure available including sanitation, food handling and sufficient playground.
More details are contained in the draft Junior Secondary transition guidelines. The Government is keen to ensure that even though Junior Secondary will be domiciled in primary institutions, the two levels of learning will remain distinct.
Junior Secondary children will have distinct uniforms to distinguish them from their primary school counterparts.
“It is a delicate balance because parents will buy uniforms. But at the same time no child miss admission to Junior secondary school because of uniform due to the 100 per cent transition policy,” a senior government official said.
The transition is expected to pose some challenges in terms of infrastructure and teacher utilization while some parents may also wish to transfer their children to other schools. Questions have emerged over the guidelines, infrastructure and teachers’ utilization among other details as time ticks towards the reopening.
The question of the readiness of laboratories to be used by Junior Secondary learners has been prominent.
President Ruto, said some of these facilities may be shared with neighbouring schools in the interim as construction plans are rolled out.
Last week, at a stakeholders meeting to discuss JSS at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi, the issue of school fees was also discussed.
“I was at the roll-out of JSS guidelines and it was said openly that the government shall bring in capitation, meaning there will be the issue of school fees for parents,” said a source who attended the closed-door meeting.
National Parents Association chairperson Silas Obuhatsa said parents should not pay school fees because the Kenya Kwanza administration promised Kenyans free education.
He said the JSS roll-out is happening at a time when Kenyans are grappling with a high cost of living and battered economy.
“The issue of fees should not apply anywhere because JSS is being domiciled within primary school premises. Children going to Grade 7 is like transiting from Class 6 to Class 7 in the 8-4-4 system,” Mr Obuhatsa said.
He noted that 8-4-4 learners in primary school do not pay school fees.
“The government promised education will be free from pre-primary school to university. As parents, we are insisting that the government should be very careful with the issue of paying school fees for JSS learners. We shall not accept to pay school fees for JSS,” he added.
Instead, the association urged the state to increase capitation for both primary and secondary schools.
“At the primary school level, capitation should be increased from Sh1,450 to Sh1,750 and Sh22,500 to Sh25,500 for secondary schools. But at the JSS, we have not agreed with the government that there will be any fee payment because it is primary school premises,” he said.
The association said they can only negotiate with the government on fees payment at senior secondary schools.
“But at JSS, the government must be aware that we are moving as it has been in the primary school level,” he insisted.