Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has rooted for day schools and urged contractors to complete the construction of junior secondary school classrooms on time.
Speaking after commissioning new junior secondary school classes at Kariobangi North Girls High School in Nairobi, Prof Magoha, said that the new level of education is geared towards a day school setting and not boarding.
"We will have only three streams for junior secondary school, meaning we are encouraging people to send their children to day schools," said Magoha.
He said the government is building classrooms in every school to ensure absolute fairness, equity and availability. "Most of the children will therefore be day scholars. If I had a grandchild going to junior secondary school, I would want to be with that child for another extra year," said Magoha.
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He said the rush to boarding secondary schools will be delayed to Grade Nine.
The Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) taskforce report had rooted for day schools when the transition to junior secondary schools is rolled out.
“We are spending Sh788,000 for the junior high classrooms which are supposed to take three to four weeks to complete. Secondary Quality Improvement Programme (SEQIP) ones cost Sh1.26 million. And despite construction starting eight weeks earlier than the junior high ones, not a single one is complete,” said Magoha.
The CS expressed his discontentment with the pace of new classroom construction, warning lazy contractors of dire consequences.
“They should be warned this time round they’re not going to steal Kenyans' money. They think they will take advantage of the political transition and steal money. That will not happen under my watch,” he said.
So far, out of the 3,500 classrooms set to be constructed, Magoha said only 50 are ready for commissioning. “I’ve already commissioned 10 of them, and will be commissioning more in Limuru and Mombasa by the end of the week,” he said.
He, however, warned that his ministry will not give registration to schools without a lab.
“Let’s not make CBC look like a hoax where you retain children but have no lab for them. A standard lab costs less than 1.5 million. Primary schools can even convert one of their empty classes to a lab, which will reduce costs,” he said.