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Private schools free to build junior secondary schools: CS

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha. [Esther Jeruto, standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has ruled out giving private schools capitation.

Prof Magoha said despite the good work private schools do in supplementing education programmes, the government does not have enough money to support learners in those schools.

“Where is the capitation going to come from?” posed Prof Magoha.

He said since there are people who can pay fees for their children in private schools without any problem the government does not see why investors should ask for capitation.

Prof Magoha said this yesterday in Mombasa while addressing over 1,000 members of Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) during their annual general meeting where they discussed how to realign themselves to the Competency-Based Curriculum(CBC).  

He expressed satisfaction that some private schools were prepared for the transition after inspecting Mary Joy Academy Secondary School and Light Academy.

The CS was accompanied by KPSA chairman Charles Ochome and Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan.

He commended KPSA members for investing in the education sector and asked them to expand their schools to accommodate Grade Seven pupils who will transition to Junior Secondary School next year.

“Private sectors can have junior secondary schools within the same facilities as long as they have fulfilled the requirements set by the Ministry of Education,” said Magoha.

He asked the parents of the pupils in private schools to allow their children to continue learning in those institutions because the government was satisfied most of them had prepared for the new changes.

Magoha, however, said those in Grade Six in public schools will join Grade Seven in public secondary schools, which had already started preparing for the new intake for CBC students next year.

He ordered education officials to facilitate people who want to start junior secondary schools without any delay.

“We should facilitate those who want to start junior secondary schools as quickly as possible and ensure they get registration of their schools so that the children can go to secondary schools in January next year,” said Magoha.

He made this order after the KPSA members complained that they were being forced to follow a long process as if they were starting a new school.

KPSA chairman Charles Ochome. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

“If the schools are already there, register them without any delay as long as they meet the requirement and report anybody asking for bribes to facilitate that to me without delay,” said Magoha.

Magoha said there were many schools with physical facilities which can be turned into Junior Secondary Schools and should not be subjected to a process as if they are applying to start a new school.

“The private sectors can convert some of their vacant classrooms to laboratory and Information Technology rooms as long they will fulfil government requirement for such facilities,” said  Magoha.

He announced that the ministry will roll out guidelines on how the 1.28 million Grade Six pupils will be placed in junior secondary schools, in three weeks time.

“We will be clear how the children will be placed in Grade Seven without any discrimination,” said Prof Magoha.

The CS said CBC was here to stay.

“We have no problem being criticised but those doing so should offer a solution because come January next year the children must transition to junior secondary school,” Magoha noted.

Mary Joy Academy proprietor Mary Kanini Waigi said she had spend about Sh110 million in putting up the secondary school which has new equipment ready for the intake of Grade Seven.

“As Mary Joy Academy, we are ready for the Grade Seven,” said Waigi adding that she never wasted time immediately the government announced new CBC system.

Prof Magoha said private schools are crucial partners in propelling the Junior Secondary School dream adding that private schools are free to build the Junior secondary wing and employ teachers for that level.

Initially, private schools feared that they would be kicked out of business.