The Kenya National Union of Teachers wants grade seven leaners domiciled in primary schools.
This they said while making their presentation when Presidential Working Party on Education Reform visited the University of Nairobi to collect views from the public on CBC.
Macharia Mugwe, union executive secretary Nairobi Chapter, said learners transiting to junior secondary are still young and requiring guidance from their teachers and parents.
Further, he said, primary schools have better space compared to secondary schools.
‘There is better space and better infrastructure in primary schools to accommodate grades 7, 8, and 9 effectively,’ he said.
The union also argued that many primary school teachers are graduates with different qualifications suggesting that those qualifications will be useful in junior secondary that is Grades 7, 8 and 9.
The unionist noted that due to the young age of the learners, they need protection from the older learners in secondary schools.
In addition, he argued that this transition would most likely make some learners skip or reschedule some cultural practices such as circumcision if they are taken to secondary school.
“It is at this age that some communities circumcise and initiate the young learners to the next level of growth. This has been done comfortably at the primary level,” he said.
Still, on teachers’ training, Mugwe added that most primary school teachers have been trained to teach subjects taught in JSS.
“All the teachers in primary have been trained to teach everything in primary for instance art and craft, music, home science among other areas,” he said.
In the same breath, parents also want the junior secondary to be domiciled in primary school.
According to Jasper Omwega, National Parents Association Nairobi branch, learners and parents will not be comfortable with secondary school learners mingling with them as they are much older.
“As parents, we are not comfortable with our 11-year-old learners being in the same environment with 17 or 18-year-olds,” Omwega said.
He said that parents were not involved in the rollout of the curriculum urging the government to cater for the assessment-related assessment.