MoE issues a new Structure Of Junior Secondary And How It Will Look Like

The Structure Of Junior Secondary And How It Will Look Like

Many parents and stakeholders are confused about the new secondary education structure under the competency-based curriculum (CBC).

The modifications will fundamentally alter the structure and content to which students will be exposed. Here are some of the important issues you should be aware of.

What is junior secondary school?

The new educational structure that will be used to implement the competency-based curriculum (CBC) will be 2-6-6-3.

Students will attend pre-school for two years, primary school for six years, secondary school for six years, and university for three years (tertiary).

The secondary school is divided into two levels: junior and senior. The junior secondary will consist of Grades 7, 8, and 9, while the senior secondary will consist of Grades 10, 11, and 12.

Where will the junior secondary school be domiciled?

It will most likely be housed in current secondary schools, which means that students in Grade 5 will begin secondary school in January 2023 after finishing primary school in December of this year.

There is also an option for private investors to set up stand-alone junior secondary schools.

Why was primary school reduced by two years while secondary school was increased by two years?

To conform to international best practices, the time students spend in primary school has been reduced.

The assumption is that by the end of primary school, students will have gained enough knowledge to prepare them for secondary school, where they will devote more time to mastering their preferred areas of study.

According to the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development’s (KICD) benchmarking, primary education in most countries ends at Grade 6 or 7.

Only Kenyan students complete eight years of primary school in the East African Community (EAC).

What was the rationale behind dividing secondary education into two stages?

The main reason was to expose students to a wide range of curriculum content so that they could choose their preferred pathways in senior high school.

It seeks to avoid wasting time on subjects in which a learner has little interest or is not gifted. The restructuring was also intended to adhere to international best practices.

Kenya has also signed the EAC protocol on harmonisation of educational curricula, standards, assessment, and evaluation of educational programs.

As a result, Kenya’s system had to be aligned. Other EAC member countries are also in the process of revising their curricula to comply with the protocol.

Is this type of structure used elsewhere?

Canada, South Korea, Ghana, South Africa, Singapore, England, Malaysia, China, Finland, Rwanda, and Zanzibar were used as benchmarking countries where primary education ends at Grade 6.

Learners in Uganda and Tanzania Mainland study up to Grade 7. Secondary education is divided into two parts in other EAC member countries as well.

Willn’t junior secondary students be too young to transfer to secondary school?

Learners in this level are expected to be between the ages of 12 and 14. They will be younger than the current average age of entry into Form One, which is 14 years.

Kenyan students attend primary school for a longer period of time than students in the majority of other countries around the world.

Will the students attend day or boarding schools? (How CBC junior secondary school (JSS) will look.)

Junior secondary students will be enrolled in both day and boarding schools. The majority of them, however, will attend day schools, which the government also prefers.

Many households consider day schools to be affordable, and the government considers them to be cost-effective to run.

Are secondary schools prepared for the change?

Secondary schools are currently unprepared for the transition. However, the process of preparing them has begun. Secondary schools will require more classrooms as students will now be in school for six hours instead of four.

Schools will also be expected to invest heavily in science and technology laboratories as CBC subjects are prioritized.

To accommodate the increased enrollment, the government intends to build 10,000 new classrooms. Secondary school teachers will begin receiving CBC implementation training in March of this year.

However, because there is already a teacher shortage, more must be hired.

How many subjects will the students study in junior secondary school?

Learners in junior secondary school will be “exposed to a broad-based curriculum to enable them to explore their abilities, personalities, interests, and potentials,” according to the Basic Education Curriculum Framework (BECF).

This is meant to serve as the foundation for effective identification of career paths, talents, and interests in preparation for the transition to senior secondary school.”

How will the students be placed in secondary schools

Formative and summative assessments will be used to determine placement. At the end of Grades 4,5, and 6, there will be three formative assessments, each of which will be weighted at 20%.

To make up the remaining 40%, a final (summative) assessment will be administered at the end of Grade 6.

However, the Ministry of Education has not yet stated how the placement will be carried out or how it will address the fierce competition for places in top-performing schools.

How else will the changes affect the lives of students?


The learners’ lives will undergo socio-cultural transformations. Circumcision is performed as a rite of passage for many communities after boys complete Standard 8.


This may now have to be changed to be completed at the end of Grade 6.

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