East African country bans boarding for primary, lower secondary schools

Man Jose Kayima

Kenya’s Ministry of Education has decided to abolish boarding schools for Grades One to Nine starting next year.

Kenya’s Ministry of Education will abolish boarding schools for Grades One to Nine from next year, in a move that coming just six weeks to the reopening of schools has caught many parents flat-footed.

The principal secretary for Basic Education in Kenya, Dr Belio Kipsang, said the learners need to be close to their parents and guardians.

“The real reason we want to do away with boarding schools is to make education affordable. On average, parents pay up to KSh45,000 per year in extra county schools and KSh53,000 in national schools. [It’s even higher] in private schools,” explained the PS.

The development comes as a shocker for parents whose children are already enrolled in boarding schools, but the move was praised by headteachers, who insisted parents must take up the responsibility of raising their children.

The policy shift is one of the recommendations made by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms and presented to President William Ruto last week. The President announced that junior secondary school will be domiciled in primary school, a departure from earlier plans to have it in secondary school.

This means that the Kenyan government will also not allow private schools to register boarding sections for junior secondary school.

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