Extra facilities in public primary institutions will be converted into junior secondary sections, the Ministry of Education has announced.
Principal Secretary for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms Fatuma Chege said in cases where secondary schools are not near the primary institutions, day schooling will be adopted to utilise the extra classrooms.
The PS said plans are underway to put in place policies that will guide the implementation of the transition ahead of the grand shift in 2023.
She said direction will also be issued on how extra infrastructure in far-flung primary schools or institutions that do not have secondary sections will be utilised to anchor junior secondary schools.
“Logic will have to speak on its own merit. If a primary school will have extra classrooms, a decision will be made based on prevailing circumstances on how they will be utilised,” said Chege.
She said part of this plan will entail having junior secondary learners use the extra classes but under the day schooling plan.
“Or we shall have to establish a fully-fledged secondary wing using the extra facilities in primary schools to anchor the junior secondary. Therefore, there should be no confusion,” said Chege.
The PS was reacting to conflicting messaging on how primary schools’ infrastructure would be used when Grade Six pupils transition to junior secondary schools.
“We have to optimise the resources we have and if a primary school has excess infrastructure that can be transformed into a junior secondary school then, the government is at liberty to establish a wing of junior secondary school with its own management,” said Chege.
She however explained that as per the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) task force recommendation, junior secondary schools will be hosted in the existing secondary schools.
“Let us get it right that this level of learning will be domiciled in secondary schools. We are only trying to establish how best we can also utilise extra spaces in primary schools,” said Chege.
The PS said that the recommendations of the task force are being fine-tuned for implementation.
“Those were recommendations to be considered for implementation. We collected data but the information is raw and we are getting to the details now,” said Chege.
She said new classrooms will be constructed in existing secondary schools under the directive of President Uhuru Kenyatta, in readiness for the transition.
The latest data from the ministry shows that the process to construct some 11, 578 classrooms across 7, 686 secondary schools is underway.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the National Treasury has released Sh4 billion for the first phase of the project.
He said the money, in addition to Sh1.2 billion from his ministry’s infrastructure fund, will be spent to put up 6,500 classrooms in 6,371 secondary schools.
Chege said that not all schools will have additional classrooms.
“We did a nationwide audit to validate the existing data on all schools’ infrastructure. Our data revealed that there is a need to rationalize existing infrastructure to identify where the true need is,” said Prof Chege.
She said major rationalization of existing infrastructure will be done. This, she said, will include merging some schools and creating space in institutions that have small enrollment. Additional classrooms will only be constructed on need basis.
“Even now, a lot of arithmetic is going on to know which specific schools require additional infrastructure given that most schools have adequate spaces,” said Prof Chege.
The PS said that neighbouring schools will be encouraged to share some of the resources with other government institutions to cut costs and for effective utilization.