Children who were to join school in January to stay home longer
There will be no intake for Early Years Education (EYE) grades next year, the Ministry of Education has announced.
The decision has been informed by the fact that learners will repeat the grades they were in when schools reopen next January.
“There will be no space for new learners when schools resume in January so the most practical thing to do is not to have another intake,” said a high ranking Ministry of Education official who sought anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the press on the ministry’s policy decisions.
Under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC), which places emphasis on formative years of learning, EYE comprises Pre-Primary 1 and 2 as well as Grades 1-4.
CBC was rolled out countrywide in January last year for early year learners and the Government was to move to Grade 5 next year.
However, the coronavirus pandemic has changed the academic calendar since learners will not be able to progress to the next level of learning as has been the norm.
It is against this backdrop that there cannot be Pre-Primary 1 and 2 intake in January, a situation attributed to infrastructure constraints especially in public schools.
“Children who were to join school in January will have to stay home for another year,” the official added.
Ideally, children are expected to join the school system when they have attained the age of four.
The move comes at a time when the Government is grappling with the aspect of physical distancing in schools owing to coronavirus disease pandemic, given that a majority already has a strained capacity.
“We have been advised by the Ministry of Health that a class should have between 15 and 20 students. Therefore you all know this is going to be a big challenge because schools do not have sufficient learning facilities,” said Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha last month.
However, the Kenya Private Schools Association Chief Executive, Peter Ndoro said separately that they will explore the situation to allow more admissions of EYE learners.
“Our schools will work on modalities to have minimal admissions for early years. In the long run we will have to expand our facilities to accommodate more because this is a challenge that will tag us for a long time,” said Ndoro.
He urged counties to step in to try and rescue the situation by facilitating construction of additional classes to cover EYE learners.