County, sub-county schools to admit the bulk of F1 students

Tuesday December 5 2017

TSC chairperson Lydia Nzomo

Teachers Service Commission chairperson Lydia Nzomo addresses primary school head teachers during the first day of their annual delegates conference on December 4, 2017 in Mombasa. PHOTO | KEVIN ODIT | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By KENNEDY KIMANTHI
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County and sub-county schools will admit the bulk of Form One students as the government rolls out the free day secondary education next month.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said in Nairobi on Monday that 647,800 students, representing about 63 per cent of the admissions, will join these schools.

Dr Matiang’i said 10,738 pupils, including the 9,848 who scored 400 marks and above in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam, have been placed in national schools.

The placement was guided by merit, equity, choice and affirmative action, which ensured that all sub-counties have candidates in national schools.

EQUITY

“The ministry ensures equity in placings for national schools by applying sub-county quotas based on candidate strength and affirmative action where a sub-county candidature is too low to attract a quota,” Dr Matiang’i explained. “By design, affirmative action aims to guarantee the participation of minorities and marginalised groups in national schools as clearly guided by the Constitution.

“Additionally, the top five candidates of either gender from every sub-county have been placed into national schools on the basis of the choices they made during registration for KCPE where possible.”

The ministry announced that all the 993,718 candidates who sat this year’s primary leaving examination are expected to join Form One. Extra-county schools will admit 123,399 pupils as 69,880 enrol in private institutions.

Elite schools such as Kenya High, Alliance Boys, Alliance Girls, Nairobi School, Mang’u High, Starehe Boys, Lenana School, Moi Forces Lanet, Starehe Girls, Maseno School, Utumishi Academy, Moi Forces Academy, Moi Girls Eldoret, Nakuru Boys, Maryhill Girls, Loreto Limuru, Limuru Girls and Nakuru Girls took the top performers.

KENYA HIGH

For instance, top girl Goldalyn Kakuya, who scored 455 marks, will join Kenya High School while Sharon Nkatha Murega and Gathoni Macharia, who were second with 447 marks, were admitted to Alliance Girls High School. Lawrence Karani, who scored 445 marks, joins Alliance Boys High School.

This year, transmission of admission letters online will also include those of county schools in addition to national and extra-county schools, which pioneered last year. Selection to county schools will be done at the end of the week after regional launches on December 8 while sub-county selections will be concluded on December 11.

“Consequently, receipt of admission letters by candidates and their parents shall be instantaneous for all candidates selected to join national, extra-county and county schools,” said the CS.

Private and public secondary schools have a total of 1,053,742 slots for Form One admission, bringing the surplus to around 50,000. Last year, 790,680 pupils joined secondary schools, meaning extra streams are likely to be created and more teachers hired to accommodate the increased enrolment.

ENOUGH CAPACITY

But Dr Matiang’i said: “We have enough capacity. We suspect because of free secondary education we will have a backlog. There could be those who missed Form One last year and would want to enrol this year.”

In the free day secondary education programme, every student was allocated Sh22,244 annually, up from Sh12,870, for tuition. The government will also pay registration fees for national exams. The capitation will be disbursed in the ratio of 50:30:20 in first, second and third terms.

The ministry has used Sh6.4 billion to construct 2,740 classrooms, 349 laboratories and 326 sanitation blocks in 2,710 regular and 30 special needs secondary schools.

Some of them are complete and the rest will be next month, said the CS.

Day school wings have been opened in boarding schools, especially in Nairobi, to maximise use of resources and delink admission from bed capacity.