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CBC Transition Questions That Should Be Addressed

Now that we know Junior Secondary Schools (JSS) will be domiciled in current secondary schools, it raises even more serious questions. This is because one ask, wouldn't it have been more economical to have JSS in current primary schools? The government would only have needed to construct classrooms for Grade 9.

But now that a decision has been to move it in secondary schools, what happens to the classrooms which were being used by Std. 7 and 8? One might say they will be used to decongest the schools, but many primary schools already have spare capacity especially in rural areas.

Come to labour, what happens to the teachers who were teaching Std. 7 and 8? TSC has said that only those who scored C+ and above will teach in JSSs. Are we staring at mass redundancies? Furthermore, there are almost three primary schools for one secondary school. The proposed construction of 10,000 classrooms isn't based on any evidence. What about boarding facilities, laboratories among other needed facilities. What kind of distances will kids need to walk to reach a secondary school?

Moreover, the age of kids joining JSS poses a lot of problems. How do you start transporting such young kids across the country to join JSSs? Are they old enough to operate independently? How will they interact with much older students? The teachers teaching JSS will need to be paid more. Has the Ministry of Education and TSC computed these costs? Can the country afford them at this point in time?

Therefore, unless more secondary schools are constructed, the levels of congestion will rise to unmanageable levels. Current secondary schools are already bursting at the seams. It is unimaginable that someone can suggest adding two or more year groups.

The Ministry also needs to quickly make up its mind on the criteria which will be used for school selection during the transition. If this is not known early, it creates a lot of loopholes for corruption. The proposal that current national schools will not admit JSS students, but will instead be turned into centres of excellence doesn't make sense. There are just slightly over 100 national schools and saying they will only admit senior secondary students when capacity is so stressed isn't reasonable

CBC has introduced a lot of subjects that were not in 8-4-4. Where will the teachers for these subjects come from? Have the economic implications of CBC been thought out clearly? The system will be churning out graduates way faster than 8-4-4. Is the job market ready for such?

This CBC is not well thought out because it is a vendor driven project. The vendors clearly know their benefits, but the country is groping in the dark. The government should just admit that, this was a blunder of monumental proportions. Hence revert to the old system and take time to come up with any necessary reforms.

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