MoE directs public secondary schools to take in junior wing
All secondary schools registered by the Ministry of Education must host Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), the government directed yesterday.
Implementation of Curriculum Reforms Principal Secretary Prof Fatuma Chege said this is part of the government strategy to ensure resource optimisation in implementation of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).
She said that though in certain circumstances the ministry would be at liberty to decide in which institution to establish a JSS wing, the junior school must have its own management and infrastructure.
“No secondary school will be in a primary school and if the primary school has excess infrastructure that can be transformed into a JSS, then the government is at liberty to establish a wing of JSS with its own management, own secondary school infrastructure that can grow from junior to senior. JSS being hosted in existing secondary schools is based on rationale of resource optimisation,” said the PS.
The PS was speaking yesterday on the sidelines of the third Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) national conference in Nairobi. She said the ministry has data showing that some secondary schools have surplus classrooms so it will be a question of rationalising resources and supporting those with a deficit.
“The expansion of infrastructure is underway and has excluded those with surplus facilities. We have schools that historically have had a deficit and children are crammed into one classroom, so those are priorities in expansion. Those that have enough classrooms but will need JSS in 2023 are also a priority,” she explained.
The PS said that the ministry was consulting with the Council of Governors (CoG) to ensure that Early Childhood Education (ECD), which is a devolved function, is well catered for and ensure smooth transition from pre-primary to primary.
“We know that the child in pre-primary is a Kenyan child and will transition to Grade 1 and it does not make much sense to keep the boundaries as they are. We have written to CoG because we need to design a policy that will enable counties to work with the Ministry of Education in Central Government, share resources to support that child who is in pre-primary as they learn CBC and transition seamlessly into primary school,” she stated.
She said the ministry is working on another proposal to counties for pre-primary to make use of the extra classrooms since primary will now be up to Grade 6.
“We need to “demolish the walls” as primary school reduces to six years, there is space that will be left for two classrooms; Standard 7 and 8. We should establish a good partnership with counties to have pre-primary use those facilities and ensure that these children are not only supported as Kenyans but also focus on sharing resources in terms of teachers and infrastructure,” she explained.