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Schools to put up more classrooms, says official

Public secondary schools in Nairobi may have to build extra classrooms if a new proposal by the County Government is adopted.

The Director of Education in Nairobi county, Mr Abdikadir Ali, said the expansion will help to increase the county’s transition rate from primary schools, currently the lowest in the country.

Speaking during a stakeholders forum on Monday, Mr Ali proposed that to address space constraints, secondary schools which hold huge plots of idle land should double or triple their number of streams to deal with over 26,000 Nairobi pupils who are not assured of Form One places after completing their primary education.

More streams

“A school such as Kenya High has seven streams, for example. If this was doubled, it would take in more students,” he said.

It means that established schools such as Kenya High, Nairobi School, Lenana School, Upper Hill Secondary school, State House Girls, Jamhuri High School and Moi Forces Academy which sit on hundreds of acres could be asked to put up more streams to accommodate more students.

The proposal has received support from the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association chairman John Awiti, who said Nairobi was one of the smallest counties, in terms secondary school numbers, yet the largest in population terms.

“A good number of parents are moving their children out of Nairobi to look for schools in other counties as a result of the shortage,” he said.

Starting a new school was a challenge, he added as it involved buying land and putting in place the necessary infrastructure.

However, working on an already existing schools is easy because it just involves expanding the existing facilities,” he said.

Among the radical reforms proposed is the construction of more secondary schools in the county to boost the transition rate.

In the medium-term, the county is looking at increasing the ratio of primary to secondary schools to 2:1. This would mean putting up the number of additional secondary schools required.

It has 28 public secondary schools and 216 primary schools.

“An ideal situation would be that every two primary schools should have a secondary school. And as was suggested by the county education director, we will be working towards this goal,” said Governor Evans Kidero.