CBC will change the fate of primary and secondary schools

Secondary schools will be a population and financial powerhouse that will control upwards of Sh100 billion per year



Primary schools are set to lose a huge chunk of capitation cash, which the government will re-route to secondary schools for junior high.



The shifting of two classes, traditionally known as Standard 7 and 8, to junior high, will mean primary schools will be shrinking in both population and revenue.



At the same time, secondary schools will be a population and financial powerhouse that will control upwards of Sh100 billion per year.



The first group of CBC learners are expected to join junior secondary school in 2023.

In effect, a national school with a population of 1,000 students will control up to Sh100 million each year in capitation and direct fees paid by learners.




The 1,000 figure is the average number of students in most schools nationally.

Heads at extra county and county schools with the same population will control up to Sh80 million. Subcounty schools – otherwise referred to as day schools – will control the least amount of about Sh22 million each year.




In the first year of the new curriculum, the student population joining secondary school is expected to double.



An analysis by the Star on the impact the CBC will have on the funding of free primary and day secondary education reveals that the new curriculum cuts both ways. It will deprive primary schools of resources but heavily reward secondary schools.




The greatest tilt will first be witnessed in 2023 when secondary schools will witness a double intake. Those joining secondary school will comprise the pioneer class of the CBC – currently in Grade 5 – and the second-last cohort of students under 8-4-4.



This will include 1.32 million candidates sitting the second-last KCPE examination under the 8-4-4 system and 1.24 million students from the pioneer class of CBC who will be joining junior high, according to data from KNBS.


Upon transition in 2023, the projected population in secondary school will hit 5.56 million learners.This means secondary schools will host five classes from the current four. They will also get an extra Sh27 billion to cater for the CBC class.




On the other hand, the population in primary schools will shrink from 10 million currently to about 7.5 million.

This will be the lowest population the primary schools will have witnessed in a decade.



As the population declines, primary schools will cumulatively lose Sh3.5 billion in capitation in the first year CBC learners will transition to secondary school.



A school like Westlands Primary, with a population of 1,000 pupils, will witness the exit of about 400 pupils in 2023. According to school head teacher Hanington Ochieng, the school will be left with about 600 pupils.




In terms of finances, the school will lose at least Sh568,000 each year given by the government to support Free Primary Education.


The money is allocated based on the student population. Each student is allocated Sh1,420.

For secondary, a school like Machakos Boys, currently with 1,200 students, will have about 1,500 learners upon entry of the first CBC students.



There will also be an increase in revenue controlled by the school management from the current Sh26.6 million to Sh33.3 million annually – an increase of Sh7.3 million.

The government provides Sh22,244 to each student in secondary school as capitation.



Education experts argue that the shift, if not well put managed, could paralyse operations in both primary and secondary schools.



Kenya Primary School Heads Association chairman Johnson Nzioka on Wednesday argued that with a decline in revenue in primary schools, the institutions could be staring at a crisis of meeting operational costs.



He suggested that the capitation to primary schools be reviewed to ensure a smooth transition, adding that the amount currently provided is not enough to meet school operations.



This is given that the government has not reviewed the capitation to primary school since 2003 when the Mwai Kibaki- led government launched Free Primary Education.



Elimu Yetu national coordinator Joseph Wasikhongo on Tuesday questioned the government’s preparedness to provide extra capitation in secondary schools under CBC.




He told the Star there is a need to pay special attention to primary schools, but an even greater need to critically support secondary schools that are set to admit an increased number of students.



“The Education ministry will have to consider reviewing the amount provided to schools for capitation as the shift happens if they truly are determined to support the CBC,” Wasikhongo said.



Kenya Secondary Heads Association chairman Indimuli Kahi on Tuesday said since the government implemented the 100 per cent transition policy, schools have been running on shoe string budgets.



Thus, despite the increase in capitation provided to the institutions, the schools will be greatly be under pressure with the surge in populations.



“This money is following students to institutions to support operations. Remember that currently, the 100 per cent transition is straining school resources and operations, so the double intake is projected to slump resources even further,” Kahi said.



“We expect the population in some schools to increase by as high as 500 students and that will be detrimental if the institutions are not ready.”



He said the increase in capitation will cater for the operation of schools, as it has been even under 8-4-4.

Kahi further suggested that schools could be forced to increase the amount of direct fees paid by students to support other operations.



On Tuesday, National Parents Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo called on the government to ensure proper planning as the transition nears.

However, Maiyo disagrees with the proposal to raise fees under the CBC to cater for extra demands that may arise.



“Already, parents are under immense pressure in primary school. The fees in secondary schools is over the roof, suggesting a further increase will be detrimental to parents. Education should be accessible to the rich and poor in equal measures,” Maiyo said.



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