The Ministry of Education has beat a hasty retreat on its earlier plan to do away with boarding schools for pupils in Grades One to Nine that was set to commence this year.

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu made the announcement to quell growing fears among parents that the government planned to scrap boarding for Junior Secondary Schools.

“As a ministry and as a government, let it be clear that we have not said we are abolishing boarding schools. No, we are not abolishing,” Machogu said.

He added, “What we are saying is that with 100 per cent transition, we have to expand and provide better facilities for day schools to accommodate more numbers.”

He noted that boarding facilities in schools played a critical role in accommodating students, especially in nomadic areas, which offer unstable environments for uninterrupted learning.

The Education Cabinet Secretary, however, appealed to secondary schools offering boarding facilities under the 8-4-4 system to also initiate day sections to cater for more students.

A student representative gives her views on education reforms during a visit by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms to Kerugoya Boys High School in Kirinyaga County. PHOTO/MOE

“Given that about 70 per cent of secondary school learners are day scholars, more support should be given to these learning institutions. I, therefore, encourage all boarding schools to introduce day wings to enhance access, and cut down costs of education,” the CS stated.

He said such initiatives were in line with the requirement of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) that stressed on parental engagement in the delivery of the curriculum.

He said only 28 per cent of schools offer boarding facilities, coming a month after Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang said boarding primary and junior secondary schools would be scrapped to encourage parental engagement and make education more affordable.

President William Ruto earlier this month defended the plan to scrap boarding for Grades One to Nine during a meeting with the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms.

Ruto lauded the team he formed in September 2022 for what he termed exemplary work in the ongoing efforts to reform education amid policy shifts and contradictory declarations.