When Milton Otieno’s son sat for Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) tests last year, he was a disturbed man.
The son was among the over a million Grade Six pupils; the pioneer Competency Based Curriculum learners; who sat for the examinations.
At one point, I thought of reconsidering changing to a different system of educationMilton Otieno
“For the past two months, It was total darkness for us,” said Otieno.
His fears emanated from the confusion over what next for Junior Secondary School.
According to Otieno, he was bogged by conflicting information from mainstream and social media platforms on the fate of KPSEA graduates.
“At one point, I thought of reconsidering changing to a different system of education,” he said.
But on Monday, Otieno got some reprieve following clarification from Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Mochogu on what is in store for KPSEA graduates.
According to the CS, just like in primary and secondary schools, Junior Secondary learners will not pay fees.
The students will also be allowed to continue with their education in schools closer to their homes.
The government has also set January 30, as the reporting date for Junior Secondary freshers.
The CS has sent a circular instructing school management boards to identify appropriate uniforms for the Junior Secondary learners, different from the primary pupils.
The confusion not only hit parents, but schools as well.
Schools not spared in the confusion
Hekima School Director Richard Guya said he had to slow down preparation for Junior Secondary.
According to Mr Guya, the dilemma on whether the Junior Secondary learners would be hosted in primary or secondary schools caused confusion.
“In preparation for the Junior Secondary, we begun the construction of a different block,” he said.
But the project had to be put on hold for some months.
“Different unverified information filled the air, and we had to wait,” he said.
The construction resumed in December 2022, after it was clear that the Junior Secondary would be hosted in primary schools.
Parents come with all manner of questions, and the dilemma is clear in their faces. Currently, about 20 parents have come to seek for Grade Seven chances at our school. This is in addition to the over 20 who sat for KPSEA at our schoolMr Guya
Hekima is one of the schools which have been approved to host Junior Secondary.
He said the institution was open throughout the holiday period to parents for clarification on matters Junior Secondary.
“Parents come with all manner of questions, and the dilemma is clear in their faces. Currently, about 20 parents have come to seek for Grade Seven chances at our school. This is in addition to the over 20 who sat for KPSEA at our school,” he said.
No cause for alarm
According to Nyanza Regional Education Coordinator Nelson Sifuna, every child will get a place in the Junior Secondary Schools.
Sifuna said his officers are already on ground finalizing on the assessment of schools ahead of certifying those which will host Junior Secondary sections.
In Kisumu, the team has been visiting both private and public schools, with the verdict on suitability set to be made on January 20.
Sifuna said once the exercise is complete, the information will be put in public.
He called on parents to rely on information from the education officers so as to avoid any confusion ahead of admissions at Junior Secondary Schools.