CS George Magoha gives two-day ultimatum of building CBC classrooms

"I have been told that most of the constructions in Kakamega are almost done, some at 93 per cent done. I want them completed by the end of tomorrow (Sunday) because we had agreed with all the education stakeholders that the work must be completed by today (Saturday)," the CS said.

He added: "It is possible to complete the constructions within that time. We need classrooms. Our target is to have 10,000 classrooms at the end of the programme. We currently have 9,600."

Magoha, who spoke in Kakamega County on Saturday, said Central Kenya is leading in preparedness for CBC, with schools having completed construction of the additional classrooms and other facilities, followed by North Eastern, Nyanza, Eastern, then Kakamega.

The CS who visited Kakamega School and Mukumu Girls after meeting local education stakeholders said schools without labs had no business offering junior secondary education.

He said learners are geared up for the programme, having already done practical exams and assessments enumerated by Kenya National Examination Council.

"Grade Six learners are being assisted to choose schools by their parents and teachers. This group of learners will be doing general continuous assessment tests (CAT) and when they reach year nine, they can as well be guided on what to pursue," Magoha said.

The CS commended private institutions most of which, he said, had complied with government directives in line with meeting basic standards to transitioning to junior secondary.

"We are working well with the private schools association. If you go to most of the schools, majorly in Nairobi and Mombasa, most of them converted their classrooms into junior secondary schools. They have complied with our directives in terms of well-equipped classrooms and laboratories," he said.

"There are some who are in the process of complying and are therefore not in the public portal (of compliant schools). But that should not worry parents. If you want your child to be enrolled in the public portal, you can walk to the nearest compliant school."

He said that private schools are critical in making the transition a success as they will take between 3,000 and 4,000 of the 20,000 learners expected to transition to junior secondary.

At Kakamega Hill School, a private school, an official Lorna Kimutai, said they are ready for the transition.

"We are at 89 per cent ready and by the end of September, we will be done. Currently, we have a capacity to host 250 learners in the junior secondary section. We will have four streams of 40 learners each," she said.

Wendy Tiany, from Applegate School also in Kakamega, said they are well prepared for the transition.

Tiany said all the infrastructure they need for the process is in place.

"We are well prepared to host junior secondary school. We have constructed two classrooms and one lab. Construction of more classrooms and labs is still going on. Our targeted capacity per classroom is 50 learners," said Tiany.