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Plan well for Grade Seven



The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms has now worked for two months since its appointment by President William Ruto. As per the terms of reference, the team has prepared a preliminary report from which the President is expected to make some policy decisions.

Key among these is the hosting of the new junior secondary school level in the basic educational structure. The report coincides with Grade Six learners completing their summative assessment yesterday. They now await the President’s word on their fate.

Whether the government decides to take JSS to secondary or retain it in primary schools, the interests of the children must override logistical and financial issues. Whichever decision the President makes will have its unique demands for the transition to work.

These must be addressed as a matter of urgency. The first is teacher retooling to teach the Grade Seven curriculum. the training should be effective and measurable unlike what has been conducted in the past and largely blamed for misinterpretation of the CBC.

The government must urgently facilitate the distribution of curriculum materials to schools. The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has been unable to sign contracts with publishers for the supply owing to the uncertainty of whether to take the books to primary or secondary schools.

As a result, publishers have withheld printing despite getting the approvals months ago. This has denied teachers the opportunity to interact with the curriculum materials before the learners’ transition to JSS.

Once President Ruto makes the long-awaited pronouncement, his administration must provide the necessary finances for the project. He has promised that his government will employ additional 30,000 teachers in January.

It would be vital to start the recruitment early so that the teachers are inducted before schools open. All these call for policy anchored on expert advice. The PWPER comprises experts in different fields. They should have the interests of the Kenyan child in mind while advising the President.

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