By Fidel Mbaraka, Nairobi
The government will spend a total of Sh15,000 per learner as capitation to facilitate free learning in all public schools.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said that all the necessary arrangements have been put in place to ensure that all learners in Grade 6 join Grade 7.
“President William Ruto has directed that the National Treasury set aside Sh15,000 per learner as capitation to facilitate free in total, the government will spend Sh9.6 Billion for the learners in Junior Secondary School this calendar year,” said Machogu
He added: “It therefore means that no school should charge any fees for Grade 7 learners unless such schools have boarding wings. We also prohibit public schools from charging any admission fee for any Grade Seven learner due to the 100 per cent transition policy in the same school where the learners were enrolled in Grade Six,”
The learners joining Grade Seven shall report to their respective Junior Secondary Schools on 30th January 2023.
According to Machogu, the Ministry is currently carrying out a comprehensive countrywide assessment of all public and private schools to determine their readiness to admit learners to Junior Secondary School.
He said that the exercise, which began on January 9, 2023 is set to end on January 20, 2023.
“The assessment considers, among other factors, whether the respective school has adequate land to host the Junior Secondary School level; availability of buildings to be used as classrooms and laboratories; and whether the school has adequate water and power supply,” said Machogu
“As of Friday January 13, 2023, a total of 14,589 public and private schools had been assessed. Of these, 13,221 schools had been approved to host the Junior Secondary Schools. I direct our multisectoral teams to work round the clock to ensure they complete the assessment exercise by the January 20, deadline,” he added
Machogu said the Teachers Service Commission is recruiting 30,000 new teachers, the majority of whom will be attending to learners in the Junior Secondary School level, saying although learners will join Grade Seven in the schools where they were enrolled in Grade Six, there is need to distinguish the Junior Secondary School section.
He said that a decision has been made that parents and Boards of Management agree on the new uniforms for Junior Secondary School learners.
Machogu said that schools are expected to have elaborate admission processes in place for Junior Secondary School learners through NEMIS. An admission register must be in place with proper induction and orientation programme.
“The Ministry will use the NEMIS platform for efficient and effective management and monitoring of learners in the school system. In this regard, principals will be required to file accurate daily returns on the 8 status of reporting to schools,” said Machogu
He added: “Principals are directed not to admit students on NEMIS before they physically report to the school. In addition, parents/guardians are encouraged to facilitate smooth admission of all learners to secondary schools by submission of the requisite documents for NEMIS registration,”
The Cabinet Secretary said that the ministry has issued fees guidelines for the boarding students to which schools should adhere to, saying that that Public Secondary School fees for the 2023 academic calendar year will not be changed and will remain at Sh53,554 for national schools while that of County and Extra-County Schools will remain at Ksh40,555.
“The government will maintain its capitation per student in all Public Secondary Schools at Sh22,244. Parents whose children are enrolled in Public Day Secondary Schools should not be charged any fees because the government is catering for all the tuition costs amounting to Sh22,244,” said Machogu
He went on: “Parents should report incidents of any students turned away for not paying higher fees and other levies to the nearest education office for action. I also wish to challenge parents and guardians to take their 11 obligations seriously by ensuring prompt payment of school fees in boarding schools,”
On School infrastructure and resources, Machogu said given that about 70 per cent of the secondary students are day scholars, it is a clear indication that more support should be directed in developing these schools.
He asked boarding schools to introduce day wings to enhance access and cut down cost of education, saying it was in line with CBC requirements for parental engagement in delivery of the curriculum.