Secondary Schools Face Double Intake Crisis.
As all public secondary schools will host junior high classes next year, infrastructure and teachers will be stretched.
For the first time, secondary schools will admit twice as many students as Form Ones.
The competency-based curriculum (CBC) will enroll 1,268,830 Grade Six students in Grade Seven, while the 8-4-4 system will enroll 1,243,637 Standard Eight students in Form One.
In total, 2,512,467 students are expected to begin secondary school the following year.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has stated that student placement will continue to follow the traditional system in which top performers attend top schools.
Parents and teachers expected the CBC to resolve the tumultuous placement of students in secondary schools.
Most public secondary schools have large enrollments and require more classrooms and dormitories to provide a learning environment.
Kenya has over 28,000 primary schools compared to 7,000 secondary schools.
Kenya High, Alliance High, Alliance Girls, and Mangu all have Form One capacities of 500 to 600 students.
If they declare a similar capacity for each class, Grade Seven and Form One, they will be expected to admit more than 1,000 students per year.
Some county and extra-county schools with more than 700 students may be in even worse shape.
Sub-county schools, which admit the majority of students from primary school, also have insufficient classrooms.
Given that an equal number of Grade Six and Standard Eight students will be transferring to secondary schools, the crowding crisis that will be confronted may be worse than in the past.
Most schools now have multiple streams, each with 40-60 students.
The government has built a maximum of two classrooms in each school, with the majority of them only receiving one new classroom.
The Education Ministry has yet to address the dormitory shortage.
Secondary schools are also expected to admit the youngest students, with the majority of them aged 10 to 12.
Form One users are usually aged 13 to 15.
According to Elimu Yetu national coordinator Joseph Wasikhongo, while the government is working to find a solution to existing challenges, the transition next year will be difficult.
“Schools are dealing with a variety of issues, including teacher shortages and infrastructure issues,” he explained.
Mr Wasikhongo urged serious stakeholder engagement to address the issues affecting double transition before January adding that the government has tried so far, but there is a need for progressive interventions.
Collins Oyuu, secretary general of Knut, challenged the Education Ministry to place junior secondary students in primary schools with adequate infrastructure.
He stated that the ministry should take decisive action on the issue of placement.
Prof Magoha stated that junior high will be held only in public primary schools that share a compound with secondary schools.
However, the ministry has yet to reveal how it will handle junior secondary administration in primary schools.
Over 2,300 public primary schools have already been designated as secondary school sites.
Secondary Schools Face Double Intake Crisis