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Schools to Register Afresh Ahead of Junior Secondary rollout

Private and public schools seeking to start the junior secondary school wing in their learning institutions have to register afresh to acquire certification. Speaking during a Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) meeting held in Kilifi County, Quality Assurance and Standards Officer (CQASO) Isaac Mwang’ele said the CBC curriculum demands that all learning institutions seeking to offer CBC should re-register.

During the meeting, directors and managers of private schools as well as the county education team in Kilifi offered direction on how best KPSA can domicile junior secondary schools next year.  “CBC demands that all learning institutions should re-register. Learning institutions having the 8-4-4 certificates have to re-register if they are to admit learners in the CBC curriculum,” Mwang’ele said. He said some of the principles necessitating the re-registration include the change of business from pre-primary education to primary education, replacement of a formally registered manager and introduction of a new curriculum among others.

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Mwang’ele urged learning institutions to put their houses in order and start the application process for re-registering. “The laid out procedures for those who haven’t applied to establish junior secondary schools include the requirement that one should first write a letter of intent to the County Director of Education. An approved site plan by the Public Works and a title deed for the school land or a leasehold agreement of eight years should be attached to the letter of intent,” he explained. He explained that once the letter is received, the County Education Board will constitute a panel of two or three officers to come and visit the proposed school site.

“The team will check whether or not the proposed site is suitable. If it is, they will offer a suitability report backed up by a letter from the County Director of Education as a secretary of the Board asking you to start the construction of the physical infrastructure on the school land. The last step after construction is applying for registration,” he clarified.

Mwang’ele pointed out that the Ministry of Education recognizes the impact made by private schools, hence it is prepared to support KPSA ahead of the start of junior secondary school. He emphasized that the Ministry of Education is the gate keeper of ensuring that institutions that are coming up meet the standards set by the ministry for them to operate. He revealed that Junior Secondary School certificates will be in the provisional status for 12 months and learning institutions will be allowed to apply for a five-year certificate after that period. Concerning the changes made so far in line with the registration of a learning institutions, Mr. Mwang’ele stated that a report from NEMA is not a mandatory requirement for schools unless the school is located in riparian land.

He revealed that school managers will not be required to make payments for the above services until the County Education Board has discussed and approved the registration of their schools. Mwang’ele revealed that urban schools should have at least two acres of land while rural schools should have at least six acres of land with title deeds or a leasehold agreement of at least eight years signed before a commissioner of oaths.

The officer said the required classroom standard in learning institutions is 9ft by 8ft and an established teacher to student/pupil ratio of 1:45 to avoid congestion in classes and encourage individualized attention on weak learners. Teachers expected to handle the Junior Secondary School students must be formally registered by the Teachers Service Commission. They must also have slightly higher qualifications than those teaching in primary schools.

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