Grade Six learners invited to pick preferred junior secondary schools

A new CBC classroom

A new CBC classroom at Allidina Visram High School in Mombasa which will host the junior secondary school students.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

Grade Six learners will from this week begin selecting their preferred junior secondary schools ahead of next year's Grade Seven rollout.

According to the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), the portal for selection of Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) was opened on Monday August 15 and will remain open until August 30.

 Knec Chief Executive Officer David Njeng’ere yesterday confirmed that though schools were yet to reopen, the learners were free to start selecting their preferred secondary schools.

“The portal is open,” said Dr Njengere.

Learners, with the help of their school heads and teachers, are required to log into the portal, go to ‘Grade Six register’ and select their preferred schools.

The selection criterion requires learners to select two national schools, two regional schools, two county schools, four sub-county schools and two private schools of their choice.

The criterion is the same as that used in the selection of Form One places by Standard Eight learners.

There are more than 10,487 secondary schools in Kenya, of which 8,933 are public and 1,554 are private institutions.

While releasing the JSS placement guidelines, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said public secondary schools that share a compound with a public primary school should utilise available classrooms as additional learning space.

Registered private secondary schools will be available for learners whose parents will be required to pay the fees charged by these privately owned institutions.

 So far, the ministry has identified some 2,300 public primary schools that share a compound with secondary schools to host junior secondary learners.

The government expects private schools to construct more than 5,000 classrooms for the Junior secondary school level by January next year.

Private school owners have also been encouraged to establish standalone JSS units to enable able and willing parents to take their students to the schools.

More than 7,000 classrooms for the junior secondary level of learning have been completed in various public secondary schools.

Another 3,500 are expected to be completed by the end of the month.

“Learners, in consultation with their parents and teachers, will be given an opportunity to select a public or private secondary school of their choice for their JSS education. Parents shall meet the cost of learning in private schools as is the usual practice,” said Prof Magoha.

 Some privately run primary schools have since assured parents that they will offer the JSS curriculum and invited learners to consider selecting them.

Transition from Grade Six to JSS will be guided by the outcomes of the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA).

Leaners are scheduled to sit for their final assessment from November 28 to November 30.

The summative assessment will account for 40 per cent of the learners' score. The learners’ 60 per cent score will be obtained from school-based assessments.

The school-based assessments are administered at Grades Four (20 per cent), Five (20 per cent) and Six (20 per cent).

The final Grade Six assessment began on July 18 and was scheduled to end on September 9. However, with the current two-week election break, teachers expect further communication from Knec.

A total of 1,268,830 Grade Six learners are expected to transition to JSS.

Prof Magoha said the Education ministry and Knec had come up with structures to ensure placement of learners to secondary schools will be based on performance in the KPSEA, equity, learners’ choice on advice by parents and teachers as well as the institutional declared capacity.

Schools are scheduled to reopen on Thursday, based on directives issued by Prof Magoha.

School heads and unions have called for adjustment of school dates to ensure Standard Eight, Form Four and Grade six learners are well prepared to sit for their national exams, which are scheduled for November.

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