Grade 7 transition still unclear, weeks to January


Grade 7 transition which is to take place in January still a puzzle as it is not yet clear where learners will be accommodated starting next year even as Grade 6 learners prepare to sit their national exam starting November 28.

The former administration oversaw the construction of an additional 10,000 classrooms in secondary schools to deal with the double intake.

Primary schools were asked to construct functional laboratories in order to be given approval to host junior secondary.

However, from an analysis by the Star, most secondary schools will not manage the double intake.

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But the Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers’ secretary general Akello Misori said grade 7 transition is the easiest concern in the Competency-Based Curriculum.

Misori, while speaking during a TV interview, said there’s need to do away with boarding schools to reduce the cost of education.

“I would want the task force to talk about secondary schools, which are very many in our wards so transition can easily be dealt with in day schooling,” the Kuppet secretary general said.

The union boss further clarified that domiciling JSS in primary school also means a change in administration of lessons.

Misori said if Grade 7 learners are hosted in primary school then they should be taught by secondary school teachers.

“We must offload teachers in secondary school to come and teach physics, technology, IT, history and biology because that’s the component of JSS.”

At Dagoretti High school, principal Lawrence Nyakweba said the population of Form 1 students currently is 800 learners.

The school’s board of management has employed 28 BOM teachers to deal with the teacher shortage.

The move has proved costly.

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“We have to remunerate them from the boarding section. We spend almost Sh600,000 per month from boarding, it’s a big challenge,” he said.

This, he said, was an attempt to deal with the delivery of the CBC curriculum.

Dagoretti High School, for instance, has 10 streams for Form 1s and were added two more classrooms.

“If we have to accommodate the grade 7 transition, we will use our hall, we have two halls. One has a basement, ground floor and first floor,” he said.

But in case junior secondary learners decide to become paying boarders, Nyakweba has a temporary solution.

St Teresa’s School in Kakamega county has a population of 215 Form 1s.

Which means the school expects double the number of students they have, that is around 400 students.

“The ministry added us one classroom and we don’t know where we will host the other learners,” the school principal told the Star.

For primary schools, most of them have constructed functional laboratories.

According to a list sent to school heads, private schools will provide 369,000 slots for JSS.

Nairobi county has 142 schools followed by Kiambu county with 114 schools.

The list gives the number of classes in each school together with the classroom capacity, the number of students.

Nairobi county has 60,359 slots for students in private schools, followed by Kiambu with 22,665 slots.

A number of counties have fewer than 10 schools approved,hich means more students in the selected counties will go to public schools.

Elgeyo Marakwet, Turkana, and Samburu counties have one school, while Narok and Kericho have two schools approved.

Knut secretary general Collins Oyuu previously called for a review of junior secondary based on domiciling of the said learners at Grade 7, 8 and Grade 9.

The union now wants junior secondary to be called senior primary and later make it middle school or otherwise intermediary school.

Knut Corporate officer Mark Oseno clarified that the reason for this recommendation is the fact that there are more primary schools compared to secondary schools.

“We have almost 6,000 secondary schools and 24,000 primary schools so even if you give one classroom to every secondary school then they can’t match,” Oseno said.

The corporate officer said infrastructure is the main concern for this proposed shift to intermediate school.

He said the government could utilise infrastructure available in primary schools in the meantime.

“In the completeness of this proposal we have a school called middle school which was previously intermediate so that they are not attached to primary or secondary,” he added.

Summative assessment at the end of Grade 6 will be administered in five subjects, not 13 as earlier reports indicated.

The subjects have been clustered into five groups: English, Mathematics, Integrated Science, Creative Arts and Kiswahili.

Integrated Science contains Science and Technology, Agriculture, Home Science and Physical Health.

Creative Arts and Social Studies includes Social studies, Christian, Islamic and Hindu education, arts and crafts, and music.

Summative assessments contribute 60 per cent while the two school-based assessments contribute 20 per cent each.

The Kenya Primary School Education Assessment will be administered from November 28 to give way to grade 7 transition.

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