Boarding secondary schools will be abolished gradually, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has announced, rejecting a proposal for the immediate closure of the institutions.
Prof Magoha has also said it will be impossible to abolish the 4,000 boarding schools at a go, but that the state will adopt a policy that will see new ones are day schools. This will eventually see an increase in the number of day-schools.
“There is no plan to abolish them, but there is thinking in that direction. There has to be a gradual process. Maybe new start-ups (schools) will be day schools,” said Magoha.
The CS said every situation regarding boarding institutions would be looked at on its own merit. Several Education stakeholders believe abolition of boarding institutions will end school unrests.
But Magoha said yesterday in Mombasa during a workshop for education officials: “It has never been a policy to abolish boarding schools. It is not an issue to bother at the moment.” Meanwhile, the CS has said capitation to primary and secondary schools has been disbursed ahead of next week’s opening for first term.
Schools went on recess for a week and are expected to open for the new term on July 26.
Magoha said no pupil or student should be sent home for lack of school fees.
He said the government would be on the lookout to ensure that no child is disadvantaged in their efforts to access quality education. He said the government would make sure it attains 100 per cent transition rate (from primary to secondary schools).
“I have had a meeting with the Internal Security Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i to mop up every child who did Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination joins Form One,” Magoha said.
He said all monies due to learning institutions had been disbursed, with primary schools getting Sh17 billion and secondary ones Sh59.5 billion.
“Money for the first academic term will be available as soon as Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) is open.
Primary education is free and compulsory, while in secondary school, 75 per cent of the school fees is catered for, with the remainder, being lunch and boarding fees, offset by parents,” Magoha said.
The CS made the remarks after officiating the start of a six-day Ministry of Education training by East and Southern African Management Institute on transformational leadership for implementing changes and sustainability of donor-funded projects in education.
He announced that the Elimu Scholarship programme that caters for bursaries for bright and needy students was complete.
He insisted that all those who benefited from the bursary scheme through scholarships go to boarding schools.
Magoha said that books for the new syllabus, the Competency Based Curriculum for grade five are already out and that 75 per cent of primary schools have been supplied with the books.