Regulations to guide operation of junior high schools ready

The regulations that will be used by schools to admit learners to junior secondary school (JSS) are ready awaiting publishing to parents and teachers.

The regulations have been put in place to give steer the transition and implementation of the competency-based curriculum (CBC) in JSS, the Principal Secretary for Curriculum Implementation Fatuma Chege said yesterday.

Prof Chege revealed that, once administrative processes have been dispensed, the documents will be published and the public will get an insight into how the transition will take place.

There will be a double-intake in January when the pioneer CBC class and the current candidates in Standard Eight move to secondary school. The learners under CBC will sit for the first Kenya Primary Education Assessment in November. It will be a comprehensive assessment weighted at 40 per cent that will add to the formative assessments they did in Grade Four, Five and Six.

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Tools and structures

Prof Chege who was speaking during the seventh edition of the Catholic Schools Principals Conference in Nairobi, 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 and the committees will conceptualize and recommend integration to avoid creating distinction between learners in CBC and 8-4-4.” She said

The conference was opened by Nairobi Catholic Archbishop Philip Anyolo who also delivered the keynote address.

Several stakeholders have raised concerns over the regulations, placement, and infrastructure, content and staffing of JSS. The PS encouraged parents to enroll their children in JSS as day-scholars and boarding secondary schools that wish to establish day sections are allowed to do so.

Prof Chege said the committees will streamline the capacity of teachers, adding that the Teachers Service Commission should consider “roving teachers” for learning areas with shortages noting that  such teachers can teach in more than one school.

The PS told the principals to get acquitted with the CBC curriculum designs, identify and publicize the optional subjects their schools will offer.

The government is building 10,000 classrooms in secondary schools with 6,497 units to be completed in the first phase of the infrastructural project set up.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has also reached out to private schools to establish JSS sections to complement government efforts.

Private schools

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 in the same school for JSS.

The Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) annual conference which brought together over 1,000 private school owners spoke in Mombasa. “We’re discussing and trying to find ways and solutions to overcome the challenges that have emerged from the CBC,” said the Chairman

He adding that Prof Magoha is expected to address the directors on the CBC policy regulations issues.

The Chairman also added that many private schools have set up and equipped labs and ICT centers 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.

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