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Incapable Primary Schools to be Barred From Admitting Grade 7 Students 

Primary schools lacking the capacity to domicile junior secondary school (JSS) will not be allowed to host Grade 7 students, the Ministry of Education has said.

The ministry will, instead, transfer the students to neighbouring institutions.

“Primary schools with an enrolment of less than 45 learners or those lacking the basic facilities to host a JSS will serve as feeder schools to other JSSs within a two-kilometre proximity. In geographically expansive, low density and insecurity prone areas, as well as for learners with special needs and disability, the government will implement affirmative action regardless of the enrolments,” reads a circular by the ministry dated January 6.

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The government has directed regional and county education directors to assess and register all JSSs across the country ahead of schools reopening for the first term.

A multi-agency team composed of officials from the ministries of Education and Interior and the Teachers’ Service Commission will from today assess the suitability of primary schools to admit JSS learners.

The team will be checking on the type of school, whether it is boys, girls or mixed, day or boarding, and regular or special needs, among others.

“Is the school registered on the National Education Management Information System (Nemis)? Headteacher qualification and specialisation (for special schools), teaching staff availability, number of teachers and their qualification, availability of internet, number of digital learning equipment and functionality,” reads a checklist sent to the assessment teams.

Schools will not be approved to host JSS if they fail to meet set requirements, including adequate sanitation facilities, land and validity of the title deed, furniture and availability of a room that can be equipped for sciences. Others are space for agriculture projects and assorted farm tools, a room that can be equipped with tools for pre-technical studies, water availability and reliability of power supply.

The exercise will run for two weeks.

“To establish the readiness of our primary schools to receive and admit the Grade 7 learners, the Ministry of Education has scheduled a countrywide assessment of all the public and private primary schools between January 9 and 20.

“The assessment will adopt a Rapid Results Initiative approach involving the Education and Teacher Service Commission Secretariat as well as the National Government Administration Officers,” reads the circular.

In the document signed by the Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, the ministry said the Director General Education will coordinate the assessment at the national level, while the regional directors, county directors and sub-county directors will coordinate the assessment in their respective jurisdictions.

The move is meant to prepare all learning institutions to handle the 1.2 million Grade 7 students who sat their Kenya Primary School Education Assessment last year to join JSS. The government wants all the learners to transition to JSS in line with the 100 per cent transition policy.

There are 32,000 private and public primary schools and 10,000 secondary schools in the country.

According to the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms preliminary report, the rollout of JSS will kick off on January 30.

“Ensure a seamless transition from primary education to junior secondary education. Ensure all the public and private schools are assessed as instructed and the institutions have met the threshold of 60 per cent and above of the requirements duly registered. Train the school management on the Ministry’s guidelines on the operationalisation of Junior Secondary Schools,” said Dr Kipsang.

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