Ministry: All is set for Grade 6 and junior secondary roll out

New classroom

Guests take photographs of a new classroom built at Allidina Visram High School in Mombasa in February. The facility will host junior secondary school students in January next year.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Around 229,000 primary school teachers have already been trained in Grade One to Six.
  • Some 60,000 teachers will be trained to teach the first group of junior secondary school students.

Preparations for Grade Six, the highest primary class under the competency-based curriculum (CBC), are being finalised ahead of Monday’s roll out, a senior Education ministry official has said.

The Principal Secretary for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms, Prof Fatuma Chege, added that preparations for the junior secondary schools, to be used by Grade Six pupils next year, are also in top gear. She noted that the government has put in place all measures to ensure there will be a smooth roll out.

Prof Chege said that, although some will be hosted in primary schools due to infrastructure challenges, most junior secondary schools will be domiciled in secondary schools.

“There is a lot of confusion over where junior secondary will be; some are saying it should be in primary, others are saying the learners are too young to join secondary school... the fact is that it will be part of secondary school and principals must prepare to handle them,” said Prof Chege during the closing ceremony of the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) conference in Mombasa.

The PS also asked principals in boarding schools not to be scared of the CBC students as majority of the learners will be enrolled in nearby day secondary schools.

“The CBC task force recommended that junior secondary as much as possible should be in day secondary schools and therefore a lot of development has been made in day schools to ensure that they accommodate these students,” she said.

“Junior secondary will expose learners to a broad-based curriculum to enable them explore their own abilities, personality and potential as a basis for choosing subjects according to the career paths of interest at the senior school,” she added.

Prof Chege asked secondary school heads to prepare for the learners and “treat them with the right attitude”.

“In this transition there will be a challenge of double transition, of Form Ones and the Grade Seven. However, the challenge will only last for next two years when the last 8-4-4 class in primary school will be phased out,” she said.

In secondary school, the CBC is offering three pathways, 60 percent Stem (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) courses, 25 percent social sciences and 15 percent sports science and art sciences. Each secondary school should offer at least two pathways.

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Chief Executive Charles Ong’ondo said all books for Grade Six have been distributed to schools. 

The CEO added that curriculum designs for Grade Seven are also out and books are being finalised.

“We are asking teachers to also be ready for the roll out,” he said.

Prof Ong’ondo said it has become necessary to upgrade learners in Standard Seven and Eight to move to secondary school.

Implementation of CBC

“We are the only country in the world keeping learners for eight years in primary school,” he said.

Dr Jamleck Muturi, the chairman of the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), said Kenya’s education sector is undergoing reforms, urging high school teachers to take their responsibilities seriously.

Dr Muturi urged the principals to push for full implementation of CBC, saying, it is a system that will help advance the country’s education sector.

The TSC boss urged the principals to adopt the new technologies and innovative methods of curriculum delivery.

Dr Muturi said the Teacher Professional Development programme will help boost teaching standards.

Around 229,000 primary school teachers have already been trained in Grade One to Six.

From Monday, some 60,000 teachers will be trained to teach the first group of junior secondary school students.

Dr Muturi said CBC is meant to enhance the capacity of the teacher to fit in the delivery of curriculum and have the right skills and knowledge to compete in the 21st century.

“We cannot use methodologies and pedagogies that were used in the 1990s. As principals, you need to be all-round to deliver. You are the change agents who will implement the reforms. We will deliver the curriculum aspirations of Kenyans and President Uhuru Kenyatta,” said Dr Muturi.

Dr Muturi urged the school managers to spearhead government policies in the education sector and effectively manage staff and other resources.

“You have a responsibility of supporting effective teaching, and implementing government initiatives and policies concerning government agenda,” Dr Muturi said.

Kessha chairman Kahi Indimuli said principals are ready for the roll out of CBC in secondary schools.

“I am asking my fellow principals to ensure that they make preparations for the Grade Seven learners,” he said.

Mr Indimuli also proposed that, instead of TSC training six teachers per school, they should base the number of trainees on a certain percentage of the total of teachers a school has.