Schools back to regular calendar after Covid-19

Mombasa Uniforms staff help a student fit a new set of uniforms

Mombasa Uniforms staff help a student fit a new set of uniforms on January 11, 2023, ahead of schools’ reopening.

Photo credit: Kevin Odit | Nation Media Group

The school calendar will revert to normal from today after two years of the Covid-19 disruption.

Thousands of continuing students will be reporting back to school while the 1,253,577 learners who sat the inaugural Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) proceed to junior secondary (Grade Seven) on January 30.

A total of 1,233,852 Form Ones will thereafter report to school from next month in line with the government’s 100 per cent transition policy.

The academic calendar was disrupted on March 16, 2020, due to Covid-19 which saw the closure of learning institutions for seven months forcing the Ministry of Education to revise the term dates. The schools were partially reopened on October 19, 2020 and fully reopened the subsequent year. Some private schools had to shut down due to financial challenges with the majority of learners transferred to public schools.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said schools have successfully regained their traditional three terms unlike previously when the calendar was crashed forcing learners to grapple with four terms.

“Thanks to God, we have successfully regained our school terms. Undoubtedly, this recovery puts our education sector on a comfortable gradient upon which to deliver on the many reforms lined up under the Kenya Kwanza Education Charter,” said Mr Machogu.

The CS thanked all stakeholders, for battling all the bottlenecks that were laid in the sector due to Covid-19.

“Schools will open for the first term of the year, as we finally mark the start of our regular calendar year,” said Mr Machogu. The government will spend Sh9.6 billion on capitation grants to 1.2 million learners in junior secondary school. The funds will be used for Term One and Term Two of 2023, with each learner receiving an individual capitation of Sh15,000 per year.

“In the next financial year, the government will spend Sh18 billion for junior secondary school learners’ capitation grants. Of the Sh15,000 that will be released for each learner, Sh4,000 will be spent on the development of infrastructure with the greatest priority being on laboratories,” explained the CS.

His Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Prof Belio Kipsang, said 2022 saw the country administer four examinations including the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and KPSEA. He said four million children were assessed.

“I would like to announce that the necessary resources that are supposed to be released by the government are ready and will be in schools in terms of capitation,” said Dr Kipsang.

However, the 1.2 million Grade Seven learners will not pay school fees after the government directed the National Treasury to set aside Sh15,000 per learner as a capitation.

The state further warned head teachers against charging fees unless in cases where the schools have boarding facilities.

The Ministry of Education has moved in to ease the school fees burden after it last week issued fee guidelines for the boarding students urging principals to adhere to the regulations as schools reopen.

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