Over 30,000 more students will get Form One places this year compared to 2014 when 695,684 out of 880,486 were admitted to secondary schools, the Ministry of Education has said.
Out of the 927,789 candidates who sat Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination last year, 729,663 will join secondary schools.
The 103 national schools will admit 23,085 students, while extra-counties schools will take 63,315.
Selection for Form One places begins on January 21.
A brief from the ministry indicated that county schools would take 128,110 students, sub county 449,766, private schools 63,956 and special institutions would admit 1,430 learners.
The admission brief also showed that 211,000 pupils who sat the national tests would not make it to secondary schools.
They would instead join youth polytechnics.
Last year, 20,291 students joined national schools, 66,497 were admitted to extra-county institutions, special schools got 996 learners, 128,049 went to county schools while 434,048 ended up in sub-county schools. Another 44,078 joined private schools.
Institutions that have already done selection include the 25 special needs schools, Starehe Boys, Starehe Girls, Moi Forces Academy Nairobi, Moi Forces Lanet and Utumishi Academy.
ONLY ON MERIT
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang has assured parents and 2015 KCPE candidates that selection would be on merit, equity and choice of schools; not based on capacity and category of schools.
“The selection will include computation of quotas, pre-selection, selection to special needs education and integrated schools, national schools, extra-county, county, sub-county selection and replacement,” Dr Kipsang said.
Five top candidates of either gender in every sub-county would be placed in national schools of their choice, irrespective of whether they sat the examination in public or private schools.
For extra-county institutions, the ratio of public to private school candidates would be 70:30.
Dr Kipsang said the anticipated capacity for every school would be computed on 45 students per stream.
Selection of candidates to extra-county schools would be based on the 20:40:40 ratio where 20 per cent would be reserved for the host sub-county, 40 per cent for host county and 40 per cent for other counties.
Meanwhile, private school managers will meet Education CS Fred Matiang’i over the selection on Tuesday.
The schools have been at loggerheads with the government about the guidelines and have been pushing for another formula.
The bone of contention has been the affirmative action introduced by the government and which they say favours pupils from public schools.
There were 139,393 candidates from private schools in the 2015 KCPE examination.