Government Avails Steps Aiming to Stabilize JSS By 2025
It is going to take the government at least three years to stabilize the Junior Secondary Schools (JSS), according to a 3-year Implementation Plan which contains a series of activities that will be undertaken in the interim before the period elapses.
In the plan, after the Ministry of Education (MoE) assessing suitability of primary schools to domicile JSS, an activity that ended in January this year, the JSS Management Committee (JSS-MC) has to be appointed between January and December 2023.
Thereafter the MoE, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) have to sensitize education and TSC officers, JSS leadership and parents on the JSS guidelines from April 2023 to 2025.
After the sensitization process, public awareness will be conducted on the guidelines by the MoE, KICD, KNEC and TSC from January 2023 to December 2025. Effectively, MoE will be tasked with the responsibility of ensuring that the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) is updated with data on JSS admissions from January 2023 to December 2026.
Then, MoE, KICD, KNEC and TSC, Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE), and Centre for Mathematics Science and Technology Education in Africa (CEMASTEA) will further develop, validate and disseminate ‘Guidelines for Implementation of Senior Secondary Schools’ from May to December,2024.
Further, the government has highlighted what it will execute for effective implementation of Junior Secondary Education (JSE).
In the guidelines, the key roles and responsibilities of TSC shall be recruitment of teachers to handle the new subjects and learning areas, and providing projections and requirements for teachers.
TSC will also be required to deploy adequate number of teachers in all schools, and further deploy head teachers to lead the JSSs.
This year, primary school head teachers are going to be the most powerful administrators in our basic education circles, since apart from manning the public primary schools that currently domicile the JSS, they shall also head the respective JSSs throughout the interim period of the transition starting January 1,2023 till December 30,2023.
The head teachers shall perform duties in accordance with Part IV, Section 40 of the Basic Education Act,2013(which highlights the duties of a principal or head teacher), the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Act,2012 and the Code of Regulations for Teachers,2015.
In December 2022, TSC maintained that JSS are secondary schools and that the Commission would deploy a total 30,550 teachers from February this year, of whom 9,000 would be on Permanent and Pensionable terms and an additional 21,550 posted in the same schools on a one-year internship programme.
This therefore implies that all the JSS teachers who are secondary school teachers are going to be directly under the supervision and management of the primary school head teachers.
Apart from the above, the guidelines have given the Heads and deputy Heads of JSS special responsibilities which are: responsible for School Strategic Development Planning and its implementation, ensuring registration of the school, and collaborating with the MoE and other stakeholders to create a safe, protective and conducive learning environment.
Others are monitoring and enforcing education policies and standards, offering instructional leadership and curriculum supervision to ensure compliance with professional practice at the institutional level, implementation of resolutions (as Secretary), and providing technical advice to the BoM and other school stakeholders.
They are also to ensure proper management and maintenance of the JSS resources and the provision and use of approved instructional materials, as well as advice the MoE and TSC and other stakeholders on institutional performance (as necessary), induction and mentoring of teachers and learners (as appropriate), guiding and modelling values to the teachers and learners, overseeing the implementation of performance management in the school, and appraising teaching and non-teaching staff.