Govt to construct 15,000 junior secondary classes by 2025

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu on Tuesday disclosed that the government will provide Sh3.9 billion for the project.

The CS revealed that the World Bank will provide an additional Sh9 billion towards the construction of 9,000 classrooms. 

Additional classes will be built by legislators under the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF) kitty.

“We are taking steps to ensure that our schools have the necessary infrastructure, where our teachers and learners can effectively perform,” Machogu said.

He spoke during the second day of the Kenya National Union of Teachers 69th annual delegates conference that will come to a close on Wednesday.

The pioneer class of Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will in January join Grade 8.

The announcement by Machogu comes amid concern by some stakeholders over the lack of capacity by primary schools to accommodate Junior Secondary School (JSS).

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) said it was wrong to have domiciled the JSS in primary schools claiming that for the last year, proper learning did not take place.

The union also cited poor staffing, lack of facilities and low motivation among teachers as some of the factors that must be addressed before schools open next year.

“Moving JSS from secondary schools to primary institutions was a cardinal mistake. Despite the best efforts of JSS teachers in primary schools hosting them, it is safe to say that no effective learning is taking place in the institutions,” Kuppet chairman Omboko Milemba said.

The CS also revealed that plans are underway to onboard the provision of extra funds to schools as proposed by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms.

The presidential team had recommended that schools get a flat rate funding over and above the capitation issued per learner. The purpose of the flat rate funding is to provide schools with funds to run their day-to-day activities.

“The Working Party also made recommendations for the review of the capitation amounts, and for the introduction of the Minimum Essential Package for schools with less than optimum enrollment. We are working to progressively implement these recommendations,” the CS said. 

Addressing concerns on provision of school capitation, Machogu announced that the government has reverted to a 50:30:20 capitation disbursement model for term 1, term 2, and term 3, respectively. 

Highlighting strides in addressing teacher shortages, he said the government has employed an unprecedented 56,750 teachers in its inaugural year in office – the highest number since independence.

The CS pointed out that teacher shortage remains a major problem in the country, especially in North Eastern, parts of North Rift, and the Coast.

“Factors like general hardship and perceived insecurity contribute to teacher shortages, leading to desertion and transfer requests from teachers posted in these regions,” he said.

Machogu said to tackle this issue, collaborative efforts between the government, the Teachers Service Commission, and relevant stakeholders are being pursued.

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