In Summary
  • The 1,052,364 candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination in November last year are expected to join the more than two million students already in secondary schools.

  • TSC officials raised concerns over a possible crisis in education this year unless close to 70,000 teachers are recruited to support the growing student population in schools.

Secondary schools are grappling with congestion as the government implements the 100 per cent transition policy.

A recent survey by the Sunday Nation established that most principals have converted dispensaries, laboratories, stores, libraries and disused buildings into classrooms and dormitories to cope with huge number of students.

On Saturday, the Ministry of Education acknowledged the problem and told head teachers that it is looking into ways of addressing it.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the congestion was expected due to the new policy.

TWO MILLION

“There are quality assurance teams together with regional directors of education, county education directors and sub-county education chiefs going around the country to assess the situation and see what interventions are required,” the minister said in a statement.

“The 100 per cent transition policy will not be diluted or abandoned. It must be fully implemented. We will deal with the issues arising as a result of the policy in a timely and appropriate manner.”

The 1,052,364 candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination in November last year are expected to join the more than two million students already in secondary schools across the country.

Education stakeholders say the institutions require more classrooms, dormitories, bathrooms, toilets, dining halls, desks, chairs, laboratories and teachers.

Despite requests by the Teachers Service Commission for funds to recruit 12,000 secondary school tutors, annually, it was given money to hire only 7,000 in 2018.

The government also said it set aside Sh16 billion for infrastructure development in close to 10,000 schools countrywide.

SEVENS STREAMS

It has, however, emerged that the funds were deducted from various vote heads in the current budget of the Ministry for schools.

In Vihiga, for instance, nearly all schools in the county are grappling with massive congestion.

Head teachers and boards of management members told the Sunday Nation that they put up additional classes and dormitories to ease the strain on those available.

At Chavakali High School, the administration has set up a seventh stream to accommodate its more than 1,900 students.

Mr John Kuria, the principal, said the school had a vacancy for 480 Form Ones but more than the number have already reported and others are still arriving.

"The school is congested but we have embraced the new admission policy. We are supposed to be a 10-streamed school but we only have 28 classes," Mr Kuria told the Sunday Nation.

At Kaimosi Girls High School, which has a student population of 1,800, the administration built four extra classrooms last year.

Kaimosi Girls principal Everlyne Odhiambo said the classrooms have eased congestion.

UNDER TREES

The principal of Kanga Boys High School, Migori Michael Kaunda Ogweno said the institution is grappling with challenges of overstretched facilities and a massive teacher shortage.

At St Paul's Ombo Mixed Secondary School in Uriri constituency, some students are learning under trees.

According to the head teacher, Mr Isaac Odongo, residents prefer taking their children to the school because the fees is relatively low.

One class has 124 students. The recommended maximum number of learners per class, according to the Education Ministry, is 40.

"The number of students is big but we cannot turn them away or run away from the problem. That is why we have come up with makeshift classrooms," Mr Odongo said.

Head teachers in Busia County are also face similar problems.

Mr Joseph Onyango, the principal of Nambale Urban Secondary School, said the big number of Form One students is straining the few available resources.

“Despite being a mixed day school, we don’t have enough classrooms. Almost 240 Form Ones have reported and we expect the number to increase in the coming two weeks,” Mr Onyango told reporters.

NO VACANCY

In Nyeri County, principals say they will not admit more students.

At Nyeri High School, the principal James Maina said he would admit 360 Form Ones, "which is our capacity".

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