Government to categorise secondary schools into three groups

Education PS Dr Belio Kipsang' addresses participants during the stakeholder engagement on senior school curriculum at KICD on April 3.

The Government is planning to categorise more than 10,000 secondary schools to set ground for the admission of the pioneer Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) class, currently in Grade 8, to senior secondary schools in 2026.

This move will introduce a new three-tier system aligned with the rollout of the CBC, making the longstanding national schools status.

Basic Education Principal Secretary, Dr Belio Kipsang’ on Wednesday April 3, revealed that the traditional categories will be replaced with three new categories comprising Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) centres, Humanities and Arts Schools and Creative Arts and Sports Schools.

However, schools are likely to offer a combination of the three streams, to allow students pursue a broader range of subjects.

The PS added that the finer details of the anticipated changes are yet to be finalised as education stakeholders deliberated on the anticipated transition to senior school at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development this week.


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With only 18 months left to the senior school transition, the Education ministry has begun the process of mapping institutions, which is expected to be completed by next year.

“We won’t allow this time round to go through sleepless nights like what happened in Junior Secondary schools,” PS said.

The overhaul will extend to assessments at the end of Grade 9, which will determine a student’s path among the three categories.

The PS further clarified that for the transition, students will sit a written examination, similar to KCPE, which, alongside classroom assessment, will guide students towards a specific category of senior school they will join.

“As we reflect on the Grade 9 and the type of assessment we will have, let’s keep in mind that the assessment is not for placement but for pathways,” Kipsang said.

Whereas examination will be critical, the PS said it will eliminate merit-based admission system.

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development to give views and finer details on how final score shall be derived.

By Brian Ndigo

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