Education Ministry has clarified that the policy on Form One admission requiring that all students be enlisted through an online-based system remains in force.
Earlier, there were reports indicating that the Education minister Amina Mohamed had rescinded the earlier decision on online based admission process and allowing school principals to admit students. That is not the correct position.
In a statement, Education ministry indicates that it is working to streamline Form One admission through the online registration although principals will be allowed to make inputs through uploading list of requests of students who are seeking to be absorbed in their institutions.
The purpose of online admission is to create a complete database for all students joining secondary schools, which will be used for allocation of grants from the government under the subsided learning programme, registration for medical insurance and recording of transition from primary to high school.
However, school principals have been advised to upload onto the ministry’s web portal details of students who have applied directly to their schools for admission or transfer, which requests will be approved by the ministry on merit.
In a Press statement, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang’ has asked principals to regularise requests they have received from parents through online filing, adding the ministry will act quickly to rationalise those.
So far, the ministry has approved some 26,000 requests made by principals through the web portal.
However, this does not mean that school principals have authority to issue letters directly to students as may have been interpreted in various quarters.
“All principals who may have issued hard copy letters to parents are advised to regularise the process by uploading the students’ details onto the online system to fast-track the process of validation and approval,” said Dr Kipsang’
“We wish to assure parents and guardians that all genuine transfer cases will be considered before the end of the Form One reporting period,” he added.
Form One admission has generated a lot of debate with concerns expressed about the efficiency of the online system. Cases have been cited of qualifiers who missed admission to schools of their choice because of the random placement through the online system. Worse, male students have been slotted to join girls’ schools and vice versa. Also, parents have complained that students from poor backgrounds may not have opportunities to change schools, especially those seeking options in day institutions because principals no longer have authority to admit.
However, Dr Kipsang’ has clarified irregularities pertaining to gender mismatch will be addressed by county education directors and parents assured that candidates will be placed in right schools. In addition, parents seeking to transfer students to affordable schools have the chance to apply through those institutions but the principals will have to provide details of those learners online for the ministry’s approval.