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Dilemma over MoE directive on Junior Secondary admission

MoE (Ministry of Education) directive on Junior Secondary admission causes more confusion ahead of schools’ opening.

Parents and school heads face a new dilemma after the Ministry of Education issued new conditions for schools to host junior secondary schools ahead of Grade Seven admission.

The Ministry published a circular on Sunday, January 8, outlining a number of conditions that schools must adhere to regarding facilities, student enrollment, and staff resources.

For instance, in order to avoid being merged, schools in metropolitan and crowded areas must reach a minimum enrollment of 45 students.

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“Primary schools with an enrolment of fewer than 45 learners will serve as feeder schools to other JSSs within a two-kilometre proximity,” the circular reads in part.

Schools will have to demonstrate during the review that they have the necessary number of qualified teachers, with a maximum education level of a diploma.

Additionally, teachers would be required to show that they can instruct the new courses under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

All junior high schools are required to provide a laboratory for the Integrated Science topic due to the practical nature of CBC.

The Ministry’s checklist further includes two extra classes for junior secondary schools, proper sanitation, hygienic food handling, and sufficient playgrounds.

School heads have lamented that some of the requirements are costly especially the construction and equipment of the laboratories.

The new directives by the MoE apply to both public and private primary schools.

In a joint media interview on January 4, President William Ruto provided a raft of measures to ensure that the schools are well prepared to host Grade Seven pupils.

Ruto pointed out that institutions that have extra classes can convert some of them into laboratories. He proposed for schools within close proximity to share some of the facilities.

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