Come clean on CBC transition
In exactly six months, about 1.2 million Grade Six learners are expected to transition to Junior Secondary School (JSS). However, a majority of parents with learners in Grade Six are worried because the transition path is still unclear and they do not have an idea on what will become of the process now that the August election will usher in a regime change.
Parents need clarity on the way forward, and we agree that their concerns are justified. That is why we are asking the Ministry of Education to shed light and create certainty.
Unlike their Standard Eight counterparts under the 8-4-4 system - who have already made choices on the possible secondary schools they hope to join next year - the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) pioneer class, Grade Six, is yet to know what the Government has in store for them, with education officials blowing hot and cold.
Several times now, the Government has said plans are at an advanced level to develop the criteria for Grade Six learners to be placed in Junior Secondary. However, the guidelines are yet to be made public.
Again, parents have said they are yet to understand the Government’s explanation that JSS will be offered in both boarding and day secondary schools across the country or whether they will be hosted in primary schools. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha aays, all secondary schools will admit learners transiting from Grade 6 to Grade 7 under CBC based on guidelines to be provided by the Ministry.
It is also in the public domain, the Ministry’s explanation that boarding facilities are not compulsory for learners transitioning to JSS and that they will majorly be day schools. On Monday, Magoha urged private schools, which will also have JSS classrooms, to allow children to remain there at least until Year 9 when they will be moving to senior secondary schools.
From all the mixed signals coming from the Education Ministry, it is clear that a lot still needs to be done and as the implementation continues, the Government should help parents to understand its decisions, especially for the pioneer CBC class. We urge policy makers to make things easier for parents who also want to plan ahead for the future of their children. Education officials should also communicate consistently and in good time to avoid confusion, especially now that secondary schools are gearing up for a double intake in January.