The controversy over school uniforms that was brought up by parents and instructors of Grade 7 pupils has been resolved by the Ministry of Education.
Ezekiel Machogu, the cabinet secretary for education, stated in a news conference on Monday that Grade 7 students transferring to junior secondary schools (JSS) would be obliged to wear a different color or style of uniform to set them apart from students in primary schools.
"There is a need to separate the Junior Secondary School from that of other primary school pupils, so it has been decided that parents and administration must consent to the JSS students' new uniforms. The outfit will not be the same because it is secondary,” said Education CS Machogu.
The JSS pupils will still learn from their prior educational institutions, but their school uniforms will set them apart from other primary school children.
Machogu added that the board of management of each school will decide on the new JSS uniform after holding discussions with parents and other stakeholders.
However, the government has left parents to shoulder the burden of buying those uniforms for their children.
“Parents will be responsible for paying for their children's uniforms,” added the CS.
Initially, the chairman of the national parents association, Silas Abuhatsa, objected to having different uniforms for JSS because it would leave parents with the burden of buying those uniforms. He urged the government to retain the same uniforms so that pupils transitioning to JSS Grade 7 can still use the uniforms they had in Grade 6.
Other than the new school uniforms, day school parents will not have to pay any additional money because the government will cover all of their children's tuition charges.
No school should charge Grade 7 students any fees unless those schools include boarding wings according to Machogu, who also noted that the government has set aside Ksh. 9.6 billion for junior secondary students this academic year.
In this situation, public schools are not permitted to impose any entry fees on students entering Grade 7.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) is planning to hire additional teachers, but the ministry has promised students that there will still be enough of them to care for them.
Many primary school graduate teachers who will be teaching in JSS have been trained to teach in JSS.
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