Why KEPSHA Wants Junior Secondary Housed in Primary Schools
Job Oira, the head of the Kenya Primary Schools Heads Association (KEPSHA) in Nyamira County, said the competency-based curriculum’s (CBC) goals were good.
He, however, said it was expensive to put the program in place.
Mr Oira said it is hard for parents to give their kids all the tools they need to study.
He also said that the age at which students move from day schools to boarding schools to go to junior secondary schools is too young.
He proposed that junior secondary schools should be housed in primary schools.
In addition, he proposed that there be adequate training and deployment of instructors with the correct curriculum content for them to teach the students while they are in day schools.
Mr Oira also advocated extending the Digital Learning Program (DLP) to the junior secondary level.
He says this will enable students to acquire ICT knowledge and abilities to easily navigate the technological world sphere, which has become a requirement for daily operations.
At the conclusion of this academic year, Grade Six students will take a crucial exam that will serve as a key stepping stone to Junior Secondary Schools (JSSs).
An effective realization of the promised benefits of this curriculum appears to be hampered by the government’s decision to locate JSS within the existing secondary schools’ campus boundaries.
This domicile presents various obstacles, some of which cannot be resolved by simple pledges from the Ministry of Education or its agency, the Kenya Institute for Curriculum Development.
The age gap will be one of the numerous obstacles plaguing this approaching transitional phase.
This is because students between the ages of 11 and 13 will have to share a school with their seniors between the ages of 15 and 19, which is the average age range in secondary schools.
This age difference will inevitably expose the younger students to vulnerabilities and manipulations that may hinder their psychosocial development, not to mention the widespread bullying in several secondary schools.
Many secondary schools have smaller land parcels than primary schools.. This will result in excessive congestion.
Given that secondary schools are geographically dispersed compared to primary schools, the notion that many JSS students will be day scholars may fall flat with all stakeholders.
Due to the location of the JSSs to which they will be enrolled in January 2023, many teenage students will be forced to become boarders against their parents’ desires. This will result in great confusion.