We should never make grave mistake of retaining grade 9 in primary schools

Author Enock Shirandula displays his book.

I quite agree with Charles O. Okoth’s opinion (Education News volume 280 of February 22 – March 10, 2024). In any case, this has always been my line of thought. Next year’s grade 9 children should, as a matter of common sense, move to secondary school where they will find a classroom that will have been vacated by form ones who will have moved to form two.

They are already doing this, aren’t they- just moving into a vacant classroom ahead of them.  Then, the whole transition process should not be broken at all at all. I mean, the whole exercise should be allowed to flow smoothly until the whole JSS moves to secondary school.

Though my pleas have all along fallen on deaf ears-even those of Mr Ezekiel Machogu, the  supposed husband of Ministry of Education- I am still doing the same. Now that Mr Okoth has come up with the same proposal, I am fully with him.

If, Mr Machogu can’t see such a rational and lucid thinking, he will certainly not stop others like Miricho, Okoth and I from doing the same.

You know what. I’ve been to a number of secondary schools around my home where I’ve seen some classrooms, especially those that were put up by the former CS for Education Prof. George Magoha, lying unoccupied. Yet at the mother primary schools there are children crammed up into nondescript classrooms in the so called JSS (or are they Comprehensive Schools?).


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I don’t want to say anything more about secondary school teachers who are specifically trained to handle secondary school pupils. Why should these teachers remain underutilised (See Mr. Okoth’s well-argued piece) in the secondary schools as we keep our children in the junior  secondary in primary schools where they go on untaught or are taught by a few primary teaches who are not trained to train this cadre of learners. It is also clear that many of our secondary schools already have laboratories, dormitories, workshops, and other facilities that these learners should be using.

Moving JSS to secondary school this away will certainly save the government the headache of thinking of how they are going to build an extra classroom and a laboratory in each primary school. Especially now that they are overtaxing the citizens for them to offer the services.

My grandson (Omwitsukhulu) who exceeded expectation in KPSEA in all the learning areas is being wasted somewhere in a primary school because of lack of foresight on the back of the government. I would really loathe the idea that he ends up in grade 9 in the same primary school instead of going to Alliance Boys High school where he rightfully belongs. And so should all the other learners be moved to schools of their choice according to their performance. Otherwise keeping them in primary schools is demoralizing them.

For KNUT who are insisting in keeping these learners in primary school, they should stop being selfish by way of thinking of capitation. They should rather be thinking of motivating the children by allowing them to be domiciled into secondary school.

By Enock Shirandula


The writer is retired educationist, a Kabras language reviewer of Kabrasi BTL project and author of SO DIFFERENT SHE WAS.

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