Government Not Intending To build Additional classrooms for junior secondary learners
Additional classrooms may not be built in most public schools ahead of the major transition of CBC pioneers to junior secondary schools in 2023.
With the rush of time towards the much-anticipated transition of current Grade five learners to junior secondary in 2023, parents and education stakeholders have questioned the level of preparedness of secondary schools to receive the students.
According to a Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) task force report, the government needs to create 1.5 million classes to cater for anticipated double intake of learners in 2023.
The team, led by Prof Fatuma Chege, the Principal Secretary of State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms, said 2023 will experience double intake and will require huge infrastructure.
The learners will transition to junior secondary school after sitting a national examination at Grade Six.
In the same year, present Standard Seven learners under the 8-4-4 education system will join Form One after sitting the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.
The report says the total number of Grade Six and Standard Eight learners expected to join secondary school in 2023 will be 2,571,044, against the available secondary school spaces which is only 1,081,900.
“This indicates a significant shortfall of 1,489,144 places in secondary schools in 2023,” reads the report.
The government has only allocated Sh4 billion this financial year towards infrastructure development in schools.
But with the estimation of the Ministry of Public Works that constructing a new classroom would cost Sh1.2 million, only 4,000 new classrooms would be constructed, against a demand of 37,000 new classrooms with the expected enrolment.
With little details on actual constructions or expansions launched countrywide to create the needed spaces in schools, anxiety has been high.
It is, however emerging, after a fresh audit, that most schools may not have new classrooms constructed at all as reports indicate the existing spaces will be adequate.
A nationwide audit of existing schools’ infrastructure conducted by the Ministry of Education found that there are enough spaces in public institutions to address transition questions.
Prof Chege said the audit was undertaken under her supervision.
“We did a nationwide audit to validate the existing data on all schools’ infrastructure. Our data revealed that there is need to rationalise existing infrastructure to identify where the true need is,” she said.