Teachers Unions Want Junior Secondary Schools to be hosted in Day Schools
The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) and the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) want Junior Secondary schools to be hosted in day schools.
The teachers’ unions revealed that because of the age difference, learners at this level might not adapt well to coexisting with those in Forms One to Four who are studying under the current 8-4-4 system.
Learners who are entering Grade 7 which is set to be the pioneer junior secondary school, have selected their preferred schools with KNUT and KUPPET expressing their concerns that most available slots are housed in boarding schools.
The Executive Secretary for KUPPET Sabala Inyeni while speaking in Mbate town in Vihiga County revealed that the proposal to house junior secondary students only in day schools might reduce pressure on existing facilities.
KNUT’s Executive Secretary Maurice Chalenga agreed with KUPPET’s view saying that minors should only be allowed to transfer to day schools.
Mr Inteni said that there are concerns about the lack of facilities even as junior secondary school classes start early next year.
Citing the age gap, he said that children who are expected to transition to junior secondary schools and enter the existing secondary schools will not be able to adapt to the rest.
He also said that allowing younger students to join the older students could lead to bullying and other social problems.
More than 1.28 million students expected to join the middle school in 2019 are set to compete for the available but limited spaces in the best schools across the country.
The 8-4-4 system also has an almost equal number of learners who shall also join form One simultaneously with those studying under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
The double intake is for sure expected to strain the capacities of schools.
“Most of the schools they have been asked to select are boarding schools. They will be disadvantaged by age as they may not cope,” said Chalenga.
Chalenga also said outgoing Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha has crisscrossed the national and commissioned many classrooms meant for the new curriculum (the CBC) students.
Magoha has also on many an occasion assured Kenyans that the CBC classrooms will be operational before the start of the double intake in 2023.
However, Chalenga cast doubt on the Ministry’s readiness for the double intake.
“There is an age challenge because most of the learners in Grade 6 are still underage,” said Chalenga.
Even though transitioning to high-performing secondary schools is always competitive, the ministry of education is set to place students in private schools based on their preferences.
A report revealed by a task force on enhancing access, relevance, transition, equity and quality for effective implementation of curriculum reforms there will be a shortage of 1,489,144 secondary school seats. To address this issue, 29,783 additional classrooms will be required.
In 2023, students are likely to be admitted to sub-county schools especially day schools even though most parents, guardians and students usually prefer national schools and other high-performing schools.