New guidelines for the implementation of Junior Secondary School (JSS) have eased anxiety among teachers and parents barely 10 days before the start of the new phase of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu yesterday said that President William Ruto had accepted the interim guidelines that, among other things, define the roles of primary school head teachers as well as the boards of management.
The guidelines were presented to the President when the CS led a team of top education sector officials on a visit to State House where they presented the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results. Junior Secondary Schools will be hosted in primary schools starting January 30 when the learners report.
Under the new guidelines that will be issued formally through a circular to schools next week, head teachers will be the heads of the junior secondary schools that are domiciled in their respective institutions.
They will also head the primary school section for an interim period that will end on December 30 2023. This is an additional role for head teachers that will see them manage teachers of secondary school calibre.
The headteachers and their boards of management will have induction training on institutional and instructional leadership that will be done by the Kenya Educational Management Institute (Kemi).
Further, BoMs of public primary schools that will have JSS will constitute special sub-committees to spearhead the management of education and resources of the school.
“The head of the primary school that domiciles the junior secondary school will serve as secretary while the chairperson will be a member of the committee,” Mr Machogu said.
Additionally, all private schools will be required to establish and operationalise BoMs, boards of directors or boards of trustees, in accordance with Section 52 (a) of the Basic Education Act (2013). Learners joining junior secondary will need to be registered afresh through Nemis.
Capitation per learner
It is also through the system that the capitation of Sh15,000 per learner will be disbursed. Learners in primary schools receive a capitation of Sh1,420.
Mr Machogu said that Sh4,000 of the JSS capitation will be used for infrastructure, especially the construction of laboratories for the teaching of science subjects.
The Ministry of Education is also in talks with the World Bank for the financing of the construction of 7,000 laboratories for JSS.
“The infrastructure and resources of existing primary schools will be utilised by the respective domiciled JSS in the interim one year of transition. This applies to special needs JSS as well,” Mr Machogu said.
To distinguish between learners in primary and junior secondary, learners will wear different types of uniforms.
On the JSS curriculum, the CS said that textbooks and hard copies of the Grade 7 curriculum designs will be made available for all schools. Soft copies of the designs are available on the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) website. According to the chair of the Kenya Publishers Association Kiarie Kamau, distribution of the textbooks will begin on Monday next week.
“We resonate with the CS’s assurance. We’re upbeat to ensure that it happens. We’ll deploy more people and distribution trucks. Also, the weather is favourable and most areas are easily accessible,” he told Daily Nation.
“These guidelines have been validated by stakeholders to spell out the general provisions to be adopted by institutions, organisations and stakeholders, in order to fast track operationalisation of Junior Secondary Schools across the one-year transitional period. The guidelines are interim while awaiting the full report of the Presidential Working party, which is expected in March 2023,” Mr Machogu said.