230,000 to miss Form One slots ahead of selections

Thursday December 31 2015

Kenya Parents Teachers Association (KPTA) Chairman Nathan Barasa addresses the press during the 9th conference of Kenya National Head Teachers Association at Sheikh Halifa Children Welfare Centre in Mombasa on September 9, 2013. Mr Barasa said on December 30, 2015 that there should be balance in Form One selection. PHOTO | GEORGE KIKAMI | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Parents Teachers Association (KPTA) Chairman Nathan Barasa addresses the press during the 9th conference of Kenya National Head Teachers Association at Sheikh Halifa Children Welfare Centre in Mombasa on September 9, 2013. Mr Barasa said on December 30, 2015 that there should be balance in Form One selection. PHOTO | GEORGE KIKAMI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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More than 230,000 candidates who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education will miss places in secondary schools.

The 927,789 candidates will be competing for about 700,000 available spaces in secondary schools across the country.

The candidates will be expected to join youth polytechnics.

The 103 national schools can take 20,291 students, special needs education 996, extra counties school 66,497, counties 128,049, sub-county 434,048, and private schools 44,078.

The total capacity comes to 693,946. Form One selection start on January 21.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has said he will meet private school owners on Tuesday to listen to their concerns.

“I will meet them to hear their concerns and build consensus but the discussion should be about honesty and equity and we should look at figures and facts as they are as everyone has a right to access education,” said Dr Matiangi.

MINISTER'S PROMISE

Kenya Private Schools Association is opposed to regulations that categorises candidates as public and private.

This categorisation gives priority to candidates from public schools in the selection.

Dr Matiang’i said the ministry has taken a keen interest in the selection of candidates for available form one places to ensure fairness.

“The ministry has revised the 2016 Form One Selection admission guidelines after seeking views of education stakeholders. County Education boards will ensure that no child is denied admission in a public school,” he said.

He added that no levies should be charged for admission or tests administered to such children seeking admission.

“I wish to assure parents and guardians that merit, quota allocation, equity, affirmative action and students choice will be the overriding factors to be considered during the selection exercise,” said Dr Matiang’i.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

However, Kenya Private Schools Association head Peter Ndoro said unless all students are treated equally then there would be no fairness in the selection.

“We want a system that supports children both in public and private schools and which identifies the needs of the candidates,” he said.

Ndoro noted candidates should be admitted to schools based on affirmative action and not schools that they attended.

“We want candidates from Kapedo, Kibera among other hardship areas to be offered an opportunity but that opportunity should not be based on private-public schools,” said Mr Ndoro.

Kenya Parents Teachers Association (KPTA) Chairman Nathan Barasa also said there should be balance in Form One selection.

In the guidelines that were released last week by the ministry, the exercise will be done on merit, equity and choice of schools by candidates and will also be based on capacity and category of schools.

Five top candidates of either gender in each sub-county will be placed in national schools of their choice, irrespective of whether they are from public or private schools.

In the extra county schools the ratio of public to private school candidates will be 70:30. The capacity will be computed on the basis of 45 students per stream.