KNUT Decries New Recognition Agreement, Wants Junior Secondary Schools In Primary Schools
KNUT National Advisory Council (NAC) has advised union officials to recommend to the Ministry of Education that secondary schools are overwhelmed by infrastructural and disciplinary challenges, which it blames on the 100 percent transition policy from primary schools to high school for the crisis. NAC argues that based on infrastructural and disciplinary challenges in high schools, high schools are not in a position to host junior secondary schools.
“Our recommendation to the ministry is based on the capacity of high schools to accommodate lower secondary education in terms of infrastructure and escalation indiscipline at secondary schools. The age of students in grades seven and eight is also a challenge in junior high school,” said a KNUT official.
The proposal contradicts however, the report of the Task Force on Improving Access, Relevance, Transition, Equal Opportunities and Quality for Effective Implementation of Curriculum Reforms.The panel recommended moving junior secondary schools to secondary schools since primary schools lack facilities such as laboratories and equipment for teaching science and engineering. It has also been found that primary school teachers do not have the skills required to teach at the secondary school level.
However, if the CBC is fully implemented, primary schools will lose two grades as students will be held in 6th grade complete in 8th grade. .
The primary school teachers, who make up the majority of the teaching staff and the core of Knut, are also expected to decline sharply as the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) focuses more on staffing secondary schools.
Knut is rebuilding after its membership has shrunk from 187,000 to a meager 15,000 within two years. In July, the new Knut leadership signed a new recognition agreement with the TSC, according to which the union will only accept primary school teachers.
Furthermore, the more than 23,000 school principals will be excluded from union membership. The official argued that primary schools already have enough classrooms and fully trained teachers to teach lower secondary school students.
The introduction of two levels of secondary education is one of the major structural changes brought about by CBC were introduced. Learners will move on to the tenth grade of upper secondary school at the end of the sixth grade.
The government has allocated Sh. 8 billion for the construction of 10,000 additional classrooms in secondary schools. The first phase is underway and provides for the construction of 6,500 new classrooms in 6,371 schools. The government is also encouraging private schools to invest in lower secondary education to provide more space for a growing number of learners.
The congestion in secondary schools was caused by inadequate infrastructure, with 23,000 public and university students 11,000 private primary schools leave 10,359 public and 1,600 private secondary schools each year. A wave of indiscipline has rocked the secondary schools since they opened for the second semester in October, resulting in the destruction of millions of shillings in property.
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