Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha says private primary schools are free to start junior secondary schools.
Magoha said the government would approve proposals from private schools that would like to start junior secondary schools, saying they only need to prove they have space and could get teachers who are aligned to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).
“Private schools are investors who are doing a good job in the education sector. Proprietors of private schools who have space for expansion and have the financial capacity to construct at least two classrooms within a month that will host the junior secondary should bring their applications for approval,” said Magoha.
He added: “We are encouraging them to create junior secondary schools within their primary schools at their own cost. Those who cannot construct new classes can fix CBC classrooms in their primary wings if they have extra classes that are unoccupied,”
Magoha was speaking during an inspection of newly built CBC classrooms at St Marys Girls High School today.
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However, Magoha said the government will not fund the private schools in building CBC classes, saying only public primary and secondary schools are funded.
Magoha’s sentiments come a few days after the Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) through the national chairman Charles Ochome asked the government to consider funding private schools to develop infrastructure for junior secondary.
Magoha maintained that parents who choose to take their children to private schools should be ready to pay for it saying it is a matter of choice.
The government is rushing to beat the April deadline of building at least 11,000 classrooms to host the junior secondary school.
“I have commissioned 1,080 CBC classrooms that are complete. We expect to have completed half of the 11,000 classes that we are putting up before the April deadline,” said Magoha.
The CS also warned that school heads who will not pay contractors after handing over the CBC classrooms risk losing their jobs, saying all the monies have been wired to respective schools’ accounts.
“Once contractors have completed their work, they should be paid promptly since the government has already provided the money. They are expected to make a profit of between Sh200,000 – Sh300,000 per class and no one should claim any share of it,” said Magoha.
He went on: “I hear they are being asked to pay huge sums of money before the payment documents are processed. Cartels looking for money should stop frustrating the payment process and any contractor who will be asked for money should come to my office and I will take action,”
Magoha also announced the government has paid for the examinations fee for the candidates both in public and private primary and secondary schools who will be sitting national exams from April.
“Even those private schools with less than 30 students, we shall ensure they sit for exams,” he said.