Kenya: Outcry at Govt Plan to Abolish Boarding Schools

The move by government to abolish boarding school in primary continues to spark mixed reactions in the country, with some Kenyans welcoming the move saying that it prudent as parents will be able to look after their children. However, a larger grouping opposed the move. The parents who said boarding schools are of great benefit to them and their children, reports Opera News.

This comes as Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang, on December 6, announced plans to abolish the boarding system from Grade 1 to Grade 9.

The plan to do away with boarding schools in primary school are  at advanced stage and will reportedly kick in early 2023.

According to Tuko, the new directive comes days after President William Ruto received an interim report from the Presidential Working Party on Education Reform that had been tasked with recommending how to improve the implementation of a Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

The Taskforce made a raft of recommendations set to shake the education sector if implemented. At the same time, the task force recommended that the ongoing Grade 6 Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) should be used to determine the placement to Junior Secondary Schools.

The government has directed that junior secondary schools that consist of Grade 7, Grade 8, and Grade 9 will now be domiciled in the existing primary schools, reports Tuko. This means that pupils will continue schooling in their current schools – which will now have to be day schools.

PS Kipsang stated that the change will enable kids to interact with their parents more effectively and that enabling pupils to stay at home and parents to collaborate as co-parents will help them “acquire the virtues that parents demand of them.” According to Kipsang, Kenya has one of the highest percentages of kids attending boarding schools, with a high of 28% and a low of 15%, according to Opera News.

Kenyans.co.ke reports that Kipsang also underscored the need for the government to do away with the categorization of secondary schools as part of the reforms that will help streamline the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC).

In an effort to facilitate a smooth transition to the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC); which will see pupils embrace the 2-6-3-3-3 curriculum in place of the 32-year-old 8-4-4 curriculum, this has come to pass. Classes will begin in grades one through twelve.

Former Nairobi Governor and the Mombasa County gubernatorial aspirant Mike Sonko told off the ministry of education on its intention to abolish boarding schools for primary school learners. Taking to his official social media pages, the UDA leader said that it shall not go well with the education sector as most children are well protected in boarding accommodations compared to those in day schools. He gave an example of broken marriages where the couples see it good to shelter their children in boarding schools, reports Opera News.

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