The administration is looking at ways to fix the problems at junior secondary schools (JSS), which means that students in ninth grade may transfer to high school the following year.

Since the first students under the competency-based curriculum transferred to JSS, there have been significant setbacks, including a shortage of classrooms, libraries, and laboratories, as well as instructors and adequate training.

The administration may be able to save JSS if it takes advantage of the surplus of secondary schools that will be created after the KCSE candidates go this year and fills them with books, computers, and lab space.

JSS classes in 2024

The anticipated rigour of Grade Nine and the growing importance of students' professional prospects, according to government sources, need a dramatic change in the execution of the next level of education.

If passed, this choice would solidify the ideas put forth by the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), who want to keep Grades 7 and 8 in the primary school but transfer Grade 9 to the high school.

Kuppet said that the junior secondary school's one-year deployment has been "terribly corrupted" and beset by several issues, and that it ought to be scrapped.

Secondary schools have a lot of resources that aren't being used, and elementary schools are having a hard time. The Standard interviewed Kuppet secretary general Akello Misori, who said that they include facilities and instructors with the right kind of training.

One of the problems that JSS is facing, according to the union, is a severe lack of competent instructors.

As Kuppet points out, there is a severe shortage of instructors, which means that many of the teachers assigned to Junior School are either inexperienced and need time to acclimatise to the role or they do not have a strong background in the subjects they are responsible for teaching.

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu

According to the union, this has resulted in an extremely disorderly classroom setting.

Kuppet administrators also suggested a thorough evaluation of JSS and claimed that instructors were unhappy with their salaries.

A quick assessment revealed the difficulties faced by students, educators, and the new educational level's inconsistencies, with the underlying concern that things could become worse if not addressed soon.

Donholm Comprehensive School was the site of the spot-check, which included an hour-long engagement into the life of a junior secondary school financed by the state.

The tour provided a clear glimpse into the challenging realities of this significant educational reform.

Congestion, a lack of amenities and supplies, and insufficient teachers cast a shadow on the otherwise tangible eagerness of learners as well as teachers.

This makes the difference between what really happens in a JSS class and the ideal condition.

Donholm Comprehensive School's principal, Johnson Nzioka, has disclosed that the school enrols about seven hundred and fifty students in junior secondary school.

Grade 9 Juniour secondary in Kenya

Of them, 415 are eighth graders (the original CBC class) who are divided up among five streams, and 335 are seventh graders who are divided up among seven streams as well.

"When we arrive for our first class tour to one of the five Grade 8 streams, we immediately notice the dense crowds and confusion.

"There was hardly any room to go to the rear of the classroom since it was so full.

"Aside from the palm's length, there was no discernible passageway connecting the lockers.

"Due to the lack of space, the students were confined to their seats at the front of the classroom, making it impossible for the instructor to move about."

The private Thogoto school, Damacrest, stands in sharp juxtaposition with the new building.

Out of a total of 250 students, 130 are in the eighth grade and 120 are in the seventh grade at this junior secondary school.

With a maximum capacity of 30 students per classroom and an aisle width of about one foot, the classrooms provide enough space for students to move around.

The instructor seems to have unrestricted mobility inside the classroom.

There is a full-time laboratory technician and a well-appointed scientific lab in the school.

According to the principal, every one of the twenty computers in the lab is up and running.

However, the problems at Donholm Primary go beyond overcrowding; inadequate staffing of the junior school is another major issue.

According to Mr. Nzioka, the headmaster, there are insufficient personnel assigned to the junior school level to adequately instruct the thirteen different JSS courses offered to students in grades seven and eight.

According to Nzioka, 12 of the school's 18 JSS instructors were assigned to the school by

"We were fortunate to be able to organically upgrade some teachers in the primary section, particularly the ones who previously taught former Standard 8 and former Standard 7," Nzioka added, explaining that the current teacher staff is unable to handle the number of students compared to the available classroom space.

Also, according to Mr. Nzioka, four instructors hired by BoM are helping out the school with lessons where the current team is weak.

Miss Khadija Atieno, a teacher who caught up with the Standard, said that she takes four classes at once: pre-tech, computer, business, and Christian religious education.

After completing 32 classes in a week, she claims to utilise her eight free sessions to be ready for the ones that come up next.

The task is tremendous, she says, but she's optimistic that it can be done with enough forethought.

By the way, TSC has hired Ms. Khadija as an intern to teach junior school; this is her first job since leaving campus.

"I am enjoying myself so far. According to her, "a lot of tasks are handled by the learners," meaning that instructors primarily labour to assist learning.

Unfortunately, she admits that there have been areas that she has struggled to teach, such as pre-technical studies (which mixes computer studies, business studies, and pre-technical studies).

To illustrate the problem, she gave the example of how the school's lack of facilities—only tablets—makes it difficult to educate students about computer hardware in the second strand of the curriculum.

The expected labs for science classes have not been completed yet.

Authorities have stepped in to help ease the situation by stocking utility lockers with scientific laboratory equipment to make up for the shortage of labs.

According to Mr. Nzioka, this is the best approach since students can learn by doing.

The School Equipment Production Unit is responsible for distributing the equipment.

The reality of state-funded schools is reflected in this narrative, which is not exclusive to Donholm Comprehensive School; unfortunately, rural communities often suffer the brunt of these realities.

Overcrowding in the classrooms, insufficient school personnel, and an absence of actual topic learning tools are common themes in reports from throughout Kenya.

Donholm is typical of many public schools, in contrast to the CBC's emphasis on analytical reasoning and problem solving.

In order to meet the needs of students in ninth grade, the government has set aside Sh3.9 billion to build 15,021 new classrooms for Junior Secondary School (JSS) by 2025, according to a statement from the Ministry of Education issued on January 15.

According to Ezekiel Machogu, the Education Cabinet Secretary, the World Bank will contribute an additional Sh9 billion to help build 9,000 classrooms.

He also said that the classrooms would be ready for use by 2025 thanks to funding from the National Government Constituency Development Fund (NGCDF).

"We are making sure that our schools have everything they need to foster an environment where both teachers and students can collaborate collectively," he said.

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