Principals revive push to scrap boarding schools

Secondary school heads have revived a push to scrap boarding schools to address indiscipline and congestion in schools ahead of the January junior high transition.

The Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kesha) says day schools will allow parents to be actively involved in learners’ education in line with aspirations of the competence-based curriculum (CBC).

This means that learners will attend their neighbouring local schools instead of having to scramble for limited spaces at national and extra county boarding secondary schools.

“Rethinking boarding secondary schools is something that should be brought for discussion in Parliament and a direction given on the way forward,” said Kesha chairman Indimuli Kahi yesterday during the World Teachers’ Day celebrations.

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The first cohort of CBC will be joining Junior Secondary schools in January with parents already showing a preference for top-performing schools, majority of which are boarding schools, replicating what has been the norm during Form One selection.

Under CBC, elementary education is divided into pre-primary and primary education, taking two and six years respectively. Junior secondary starts from Grade Seven up to Grade Nine and will be domiciled in existing secondary schools as opposed to primary schools.

Last year, the head teachers were lobbying the Ministry of Education to scrap boarding schools to tame increased cases of unrest in the institutions.

Their latest push for day secondary schools may have been informed by the appointment of a task force to review the CBC, basic education, and technical and university education.

The 42-member task force has been given six months to prepare a report after taking in the views of Kenyans on the curriculum including an appropriate structure for implementing it.

Kenya’s school system is expected to change dramatically in January when secondary schools receive Form One learners as well as the pioneer cohort of Grade Seven learners under the CBC.

Over the past four years, secondary schools have experienced congestion owing to the introduction of the 100 percent transition from primary schools, with the January double-intake expected to make things worse.

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