President Uhuru Kenyatta has ordered Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha to release the 2021 school calendar. The president further assured the nation that no child will suffer even as covid-19 continues to affect schools.
“I direct the Ministry of Education to issue a full school calendar for 2021 within 14 days,” Mr Kenyatta said during the State of the Nation address on Thursday adding that Grade 4, class 8 and form 4 learners will continue with their normal learning in schools.
“No child will be left behind. That includes those who have transitioned to young parenthood during this period,” he said. Education CS Magoha is expected to convene a stakeholders’ meeting on recovering the 2020 academic calendar next week.
“As a parent and grandfather, I feel the pain of children remaining at home for a year,” the President stated, adding that the state would ensure learning is reformed.
He announced the gradual replacement of the 8-4-4 education system with the competency-based-curriculum (CBC) would succeed, with Grade 5 expected to be rolled out in 2021.
The government has provided textbooks to learners in Grades 1 to 3 at a ratio of 1:1 in a programme meant to be extended to subsequent CBC classes.
About 430,598 students have been enrolled in technical and vocational education and training (TVET) institutions, president Kenyatta said, noting that the curricula for the TVETS have been realised in collaboration with industry professionals to make the training appropriate to market demands.
In 2 years ahead, the government will expand infrastructure in learning institutions in the coming two years to address the continuing problem of overpopulation and congestion, the President said.
The expansion will be funded by the Ministry of Education, county governments and the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF).
The government estimates that a total of 12,500 classrooms will be built across the country to ease congestion that was exacerbated by the 100 transitions from primary to secondary school policy advanced by the government 2 years ago.
Facilities in almost all secondary schools are stretched.
The 2020 Economic Survey reveals that Kenya has 23,286 public primary and 8,933 secondary schools in the overstretched facilities.
“Infrastructure in our schools is deteriorating but this should motivate us to work harder,” the President noted. “Through NG-CDF, we will address the infrastructural gap.”
Mr Kenyatta ordered the ministries of Education and Transport, Infrastructure, Housing and Urban Development to formulate guidelines on cost-effective structures for schools by December 1st, 2020.
“The next frontier in providing quality education is physical structure and content,” he stated noting that one of the biggest challenges for social distance in schools is lack of or rundown facilities
He also noted that besides congestion challenges, schools lack clean running water and storage vessels. Treasury Cabinet Secretary Ukur Yatani had stated that Sh2.1 billion would be spent to fund the construction of extra classrooms in secondary schools.