The Kenya Private Schools Association KEPSA-Bomet wants the government to host Junior Secondary school pupils in existing primary schools due to their tender age.
County chapter chairman Alfred Ronoh said the move will reduce the cost of constructing new classrooms, laboratories and other learning infrastructure that require a lot of money. He was accompanied by secretary Nicholas Kirui and executive member Philemon Kirui.
They made the remarks after presenting their views to the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms at Tenwek High School.
“The learning areas and activities should be condensed to a manageable number, depending on the grade/ level of learners. The specialisation pathways should be deferred to senior secondary, since the learners in junior secondary are still too young to make informed choices,” Ronoh said.
He said investors should be encouraged to construct standalone junior secondary schools where possible to accommodate all learners.
Philemon Kirui said a standardised assessment should be formulated to ensure that learners countrywide are assessed uniformly.
“Examinations should be structured as bringing back multiple choices is going back to the 8-4-4 system, which was full of guesswork,” the proprietor of Shammah Schools said.
Kirui also represents private schools on the county education board.
He said Knec practical exams should have different options and be customised for each region, and should not be rushed.
“The grading rubric should include allocation of marks. The learners who are slow should be given another chance to repeat the grade instead of pushing them through the system,” Kirui said.
He urged the state to encourage public-private partnerships so investors can provide infrastructure and employ teachers.
“The government should provide textbooks to all learners, both in public and private schools. Currently, private schools are not considered, hence lack of uniformity in learning, yet all are public children,” Kirui said.
The government should introduce school feeding programmes in public and private schools, he said.
“All learners in both public and private schools should also qualify to be given bursaries. Needy and deserving applicants should not be discriminated against because they are from private schools,” Kirui said.
Nicholas Kirui called for learning uniformity in ICT, saying learners in private schools should be given laptops and tablets.
“All teachers for junior secondary in public and private schools should be given equal training opportunities and the government should pay for training,” he said.