Government to spend sh 5 billion in building junior secondary labs

The government will invest Sh5 billion to set up laboratories in Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) to ensure adequate infrastructure, Education PS Belio Kipsang has said.

Speaking at Arap Moi Primary School in Kajiado yesterday when he monitored the first reporting day of JSS, Kipsang said education stakeholders should work together to help learners choose pathways to senior secondary school education.

“I want to assure our junior secondary learners that the Government is committed to ensuring adequate preparations, which is only possible if we put in proper, adequate infrastructure. The Sh5 billion capitation will be key in building the integrated resource rooms,” said Kipsang.

“The Government will work with other partners to expand infrastructure. We will also employ at least 36,000 teachers to oversee junior secondary learning,” he added.

The PS said: “This is just a learning transition and parents should not over-think or worry. The competency-based curriculum (CBC) is friendly and learner-based. The Government has also made available all the necessary materials”.

He assured the 1.2 million JSS learners of instructional learning materials while those in private institutions would also access the same at dealers of their choice. “The Government is committed is to ensuring that parents are not compelled to buy these materials from specific dealers; it should be a free market,” he said.

Kipsang said the Ministry is working with Members of Parliament to urge them to also utilize part of the Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in improving school infrastructure.

The majority of JSS learners reported back with their old uniforms, as schools said they would give parents time to purchase new ones.

In Nakuru, County Director of Education Frederick Osewe said 171 private schools were rejected during an assessment of their suitability to host JSS. He said 1,186 schools were assessed and 935 were approved.

“It is all systems that go for JSS in Nakuru. I have visited several institutions and all sub-county directors are monitoring the progress,” said Osewe, who spoke at Moi Primary School.

Moi Primary School head-teacher Caroline Chebe said they had admitted at least 100 students but were expecting a total of 460 students for both the day and boarding sections.

“Out of the 460 students, 303 sat the Grade Six assessment in this school while the other 157 are from feeder schools. We have some textbooks purchased by the Board of Management and we expect more from the Ministry,” said Chebe.

In Roots Academy, head-teacher Collins Odhiambo said they were expecting to admit at least 300 students, with 200 transiting from the school and another 100 from feeder institutions.

The school has employed at least 20 teachers for JSS, and the number could go up as they target to have at least 10 streams.

In Murang’a, 570 primary schools were approved to host JSS. A spot check showed a smooth process, with learners reporting in good time. Vidhu-Ramji Primary School head-teacher Michael Wamwaki said 171 students reported back and only nine did not show up.

Wamwaki said the teachers at the school are adequately prepared to handle JSS, although the number of subjects has increased to 14. “We are equal to the task and we expect a smooth learning process for learners at the new level,” he said.

Beatrice Wachira, head teacher of Technology Primary School said learning kicked off on the very first day because teachers were prepared to receive students. She said the school has seven teachers to teach JSS, which has four streams.

In Kangema, however, parents with children at Ngoeini and Holy Rosary primary schools protested a decision to move the pupils to Kanyenyaini Primary School. They claimed the school was far from their homes.

Samuel Rwitha, the Murang’a East sub-county education director, said there was no challenge in the placement of children in JSS schools. “The main challenge most primary schools are facing is lack of laboratories. But since most of them neighbour secondary schools, they can share the facilities for the time being,” he said.

In Eastern region, at least 173,253 students will be enrolled on JSS. The region’s education director, Dr William Sugut, said 4,522 schools were approved to host JSS. “We want to register all students who sat the Grade Six assessment,” said Sugut at Iveche Primary School.

In Nyamira, the admission process was pushed to today after it was marred with confusion and logistical issues. In most schools, parents who accompanied their children did not fully understand the new demands and guidelines for the admission of their children.

They also opposed an Sh500 charge, which is one of the admission requirements.

In Kisii, learners reported amid challenges of uniforms, and computer and science labs.

County director of education Pius Ngo’ma said some 32,233 candidates would transit to JSS, noting that 759 public and 165 private schools were approved to offer JSS education.

Admission in Kisumu and Homa Bay kicked off smoothly even as most schools faced infrastructural challenges.

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