State admits Form One crisis next year due to big numbers

Kipsang said there is a reduction of Sh3.34 billion under the Junior Secondary School improvement program, another Sh1 billion under the secondary school infrastructure improvement program and Sh138 million under the primary school infrastructure improvement program that will affect the sector.

He said although the government is planning to improve the learning environment in schools through construction and improved infrastructure to increase enrolment, the exchequer has reduced allocations.

In addition, the ministry was projecting to provide infrastructure in Junior Secondary Schools to mitigate the incoming second class. "Nairobi County has an acute shortage of classrooms especially at the primary school level. There is therefore an urgent need to construct 5,000 classes across the 17 sub-constituencies over three years to address existing gaps," Kipsang said.

He also noted that although the current enrolment in public secondary school stands at 3,858,836, the number is expected to increase next year to 4,253,155 with the transition of this year's KCPE candidates.

Also expected to rise is the number of Junior Secondary School enrolment from the current 1,081,887 to 2,170,429 learners. This, the PS said, requires 3,000 new classrooms at Sh3.3 billion. The money, he said, has been moved to the Constituency Development Fund.

Committee chairman Julius Melly wanted to know if the increase in enrolment had anything to do with the learners who wanted to evade CBC curricular. "Can we say, some learners who were earmarked to join Grade Seven decided to enroll for KCPE to evade the challenges that came with the transition?" Melly asked.

With learners enrolled in LCB hitting 144,845 above the 142,000 target. Kenya National Examination Council Chief Executive Officer, David Njeng'ere said many learners who had dropped out of school came back to sit exams.

"Since this is the last exam to be administered in the 8.4.4 system, majority of learners and those who had dropped out of school decided to enroll," Dr Njeng'ere said.

Kipsang said, this was one way of reducing illiteracy in the country. "Some learners may have decided to go back to school and enhance their level of academic to align with the changing life," Kipsang said.