The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is in disarray as the first batch of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) learners join Junior Secondary School (JSS) today.
Sources close to the Commission has revealed that TSC is planning to use primary school teachers popularly known as P1 teachers for handling of Grade 7 lessons.
Admission of Grade 7 learners start today but TSC is yet to finalise the recruitment and deployment of the 30,000 teachers scheduled to teach in the newly introduced section of schools.
Recruitment and deployment of junior secondary teachers can happen earliest in late February or even March.
Government is faced with the headache of teacher shortage and inadequate facilities. Though the Government released guidelines on the JSS last week, teachers, parents and other education stakeholders say there are many grey areas yet to be addressed.
But amidst the challenges, the government has directed head teachers to make do with the available resources and infrastructure as they admit the learners.
There are fears too that the 30,000 teachers being recruited, which will translate to one teacher per school, may not be enough since some schools have more than three streams.
And as per Education ministry’s guidelines on JSS, learners will be taught nine lessons per day for five days (45 per week) with each lesson allocated 40 minutes, an indication that more teachers will be required. Primary school teachers allocate 35 minutes per lesson.
Guidelines also stipulate that parents would be required to cater for their children’s meals and yet the government is yet to set the amount of money to be paid. Apparently, parents with students in secondary schools pay Sh4,000 per term for meals.
Whereas Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that Grade Six pupils transitioning to JSS will be required to wear a different colour or type of uniform that will differentiate them from primary school pupils, most schools are yet to come up with the designs and colours, leaving parents in confusion.
However, Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (KEPSHA) chairman Johnson Nzioka, while urging parents not to panic over the issue, wants head teachers to grant them more time to shop for uniforms.
“I know parents will have a challenge because of the short period of changing the uniform. However, I urge all head teachers to grant parents a grace period to enable them change over to the new uniform within an agreeable time frame,” Nzioka said yesterday.
He said though the guidelines on implementation of JSS were only issued last week, schools are prepared to receive the learners. Nzioka noted that head teachers are aware of the hard-economic times in the country and will give parents a grace period for uniform changeover. He called on schools not to take advantage of the situation. He said learners can report today with the old uniform as parents work on getting the new one. =
“It’s good to abide by the change of uniform because we also want them to feel the change. Try as much as possible to get the new ones,” he added. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is yet to finalise the recruitment and deployment of 30,000 that began early this year, posing another challenge to schools on who will manage the learners as they report this morning.
Nzioka assured that TSC has promised to start deploying teachers today in anticipation to have one for each class of 50 learners.
In the meantime, however, Nzioka said the management of existing primary schools where JSS will be domiciled have been charged with the responsibility to identify teachers to temporarily handle the learners until TSC finalises the deployment exercise.
“You see, we have very qualified teachers in primary schools….teachers with bachelor’s degree or even higher qualifications. We know this because we have their papers. They have been assigned to receive and handle the JSS learners,” he explained.
TSC had said that newly recruited teachers would report today to allow for smooth learning.
In a bid to address the crisis, TSC has now called for applications from teachers in primary schools interested to move to JSS and set February 6 as the deadline.
“Primary school teachers can apply for deployment to JSS. Deadline for application is February 6,” TSC said in a circular on Friday.
To qualify, TSC said the teacher must have scored at least C plus at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and a similar grade for at least two teaching subjects.
They must also have eight units in each of the two teaching subjects and be serving as a primary school teacher under TSC. Amidst this, questions have also emerged over the requirement for teachers to have two teaching optional subjects besides the two subjects they are qualified in.
Teachers say the requirement will lead to majority of them being forced to teach subjects they neither learnt nor qualified in.
Stakeholders also question how teachers in JSS will teach some of the pre-technical subjects such as woodwork, performing arts, computers and electrical, among others, that they have least knowledge. Pre-technical studies are supposed to be allocated two double lessons per week.
And whereas JSS will be domiciled in primary schools, the Ministry of Education is yet to clear the air on whether the learners will fall under the primary, secondary or college category in co-curricular activities such as sports, drama and music.
And even as learners report today, the government is yet to release capitation to schools, leaving head teachers in a quandary over how they will raise funds for daily operations. Reports also indicate that some schools are forcing parents to part with admission fee.
Primary schools that will host JSS are expected to benefit from a Sh9.6 billion cash injection comprising Sh15,000 for each learner with Sh4,000 going to infrastructure development.
Nzioka, however, insists that no parent has been asked to pay school fees and all JSS learners should report to school.
“The Government has already said it will give capitation for all learners, including those joining JSS so no parent should be told to pay. No KEPSHA member has asked parents to pay fees but the responsibility of meals and school fees lies on parents,” he explained.
He said parents with learners in private schools have been asked to pay school fees but not for those in public.
The learners are also reporting to school at a time the government is negotiating with World Bank to fund the construction of over 7,000 laboratories in more than 23,000 public primary schools countrywide.
At the moment, teachers are still in darkness over how they will handle subjects that require laboratories.
Nzioka, however, says that most public schools have an extra room which can be converted.
He said the schools will only require to purchase laboratory equipment which Schools Equipment Production Unit has been catering for that. Chairman has also said that books are expected in schools starting today.
Machogu had on Friday launched the distribution of Grade Seven curriculum designs and textbooks to public schools countrywide ahead of reporting today.
“The start of the distribution of the Grade Seven textbooks that will cost the Government a total of about Sh3.2 billion follows the completion of the assessment exercise of all primary schools to ascertain their readiness to host JSS,” said the CS.
The proverbial tower of babel….
confusion based curriculum is a scam,Amina mohammed raised the red flag but nobody was ready to listen ,i pity the millions of learners who have been caught up in this mess,P1s will be paid in heaven let them continue to provide free labour
The tsc is very clear,only those who got a mean grade C+ and C+ in the two teaching subjects,a degree in secondary option,with 8 units each at the university, are the ones who are supposed to teach JSS, at what point did the tsc realise that P1 teachers can be used to teach JSS? very useless !!!!!!
What a shame! How can the goverment employ 30k teachers and yet we have many unemployed teachers. P1 teachers don’t qualify to teach JSS how can they again be told to teach JSS what a failed ministry!!!
TSC has really demoralised teachers who did degrees. we wish they gave qualifications then Our colleagues who completed earlier were promoted .We undergo ridicule and have not even finished paying loans I have recommendation for being a good teacher but cannot be promoted I feel like committing sui…
TSC should consider teachers who had C plain but have degrees with C+ in the two subjects they are teaching. these teachers trained in government universities and paid their fees through loans and sale of some of their properties. TSC is scam
I got B_ in kcse and and B plain in the subjects Iam teaching as p1 Tr and I did not further my study for a degree.Does it mean I dont qualify to Tr in JSS secondary school
Tsc….kindly too cosider these p1 teachers with higher form 4 grades of B.to teach in jss and pay them more.
punda 1 course is the most despicable course on planet earth,just look at how teachers are being tossed around like unskilled farm hands
TSC should state why it took unemployed p1 teachers back to school,upgraders of CBC first load are out,why be can’t TSC use this knowledgeable teachers to handle JSS learners?what is to be Taught in JSS is totally different from what secondary teachers specialize for at university level.oh my what amase in TSC (Education sector)
The CBC content is too deep for p1 teachers… it’s high school content…. hadn’t TSC forseen that???? It’s role is to advise the government on staff establishment.. What went wrong they kept quiet??? There is danger… before putting in More money govt should rethink… this is a scam for fattening some people in the system!!!
P1 teachers are capable of handling jss especially those with C plus and above.They went through proper training and passed tough knec exams.Give them a chance.
If the qualification to teach in jss and secondary schools is C plus mean grade ad at least C plus in the two teaching subjects it’s evident that some primary school teachers qualify for deployment for the same.
The government is pretending too much,no preparedness at all,how on Earth admit learners yet no teachers,no books,some schools lack structures.I pity the wasted Innocent children.
How Will new secondary school teach some subjects,yet they no basic skills like computer,art,music ,pE.i strongly believe p1 are best suited
Pls never trust anything from African government. Our children are used as litmus paper. Disaster!!
Guys! Teachers blaming teachers here…Either P1 or graduate ……can handle or cant handle.Good opinion , sound advisory but to who. Kindly lets wait quietly and expectantly.If given that job.Take it and do it with a clean heart.As long as we do as expected to get blessings from God…….others no one cares who we are…………as long as they are( them) satisfied.
I second and support Rispa on: TSC should employ unemployed teachers with c plain and c+ in teaching subjects coz they are qualified to teach jss learners.rem: there are some teachers with c+ and above who emerged with that grade due to illegalities,or exam of that year could have favoured them,so if one scored a c plain,went on to do p1,and again did a degree,kindly our tsc consider all factors if possible.