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Ministry of Education's rules for registering new school

By Augustine Oduor | September 2nd 2021


The Nyali School principal John Kombo shows pupils cassava from the school farm. The Ministry of Education has released new guidelines for registration of schools. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Having adequate classrooms and compliance with the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) are among the new requirements schools must fulfil to be registered.

And the classrooms must also have enough desks and chairs.

The guidelines by the Ministry of Education require a school to have enough classrooms from pre-primary all the way to senior secondary school.

“The curriculum offered must be vetted and approved by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) and registered by the Ministry of Education,” according to the the guidelines.

According to a document titled Registration Guidelines for Basic Education Institutions by the ministry, the new CBC-compliant schools will be required to have spaces for the pathways that the learners choose.

All senior secondary schools will be required to have facilities that can offer at least two pathways and all the tracks there-in. Senior secondary schools offering Stem subjects will also have the specific additional facilities to offer all the four Stem tracks.

But for those that will still be offering 8-4-4, two nursery classrooms will be mandatory for registration. These schools will also be required to have at least one laboratory.  

Private schools will pay Sh10,000 for every category of registration. For public institutions, Sh2,000 will be charged for five-year registration and a similar amount for re-registration.

The institutions will be assessed and registered afresh when they change from public to private and vice versa. The guidelines also state each county will only have, at most, two public teacher training colleges, beyond which registration will not be granted.

In areas with large populations, new day primary or secondary schools will only be registered if they fall beyond 600m radius. Nursery schools linked to these institutions will only be registered if they fall within two kilometre radius.

However, the government will no longer register boarding nursery schools. The government will also not register schools located within a radius of 300m from a liquor selling outlet in peri-urban and rural areas.

Suitability of the site for school location, size of school land and compliance with all government procedures will be strictly observed.

“The directorate in- charge of quality assurance and standards shall assess an application for licensing of an institution of basic education and training to ensure compliance to the standards and confirm availability of approvals for all infrastructure from the relevant regulatory bodies,” read the guidelines.

All physical facilities shall be safe, learner and disability friendly.

“The structures must be secure and adhere to building standards prescribed by the Public Works Department, as well as all other regulations on safety in force at the time of registration,” reads the guideline.

All projects shall be approved by the Public Works Office before they start to ensure compliance to set standards.

School compounds will not harbour commercial ventures.

“No facility of the premises or the grounds shall have any other use such as residential or commercial,” the guidelines read.

The new rules also require that to establish a new public primary school in densely populated areas, the nearest existing public primary school should have at least two streams, with a minimum population of 480 learners.

And for new public secondary schools to be registered in densely populated areas, the nearest existing public secondary school should have attained three streams, with a minimum population of 540 learners.

However, those wishing to establish schools in sparsely populated areas and arid and semi-arid lands, the nearest existing institution should have at least 60 learners.

“For registration of special needs education institutions, there shall be a maximum of 10 learners per class for learners with physical, visual and hearing impairments.”

However, for learners with severe disabilities, the maximum number will be between one and five per class.

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