, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 14 – Kenya Private Schools Association has sued Education Ministry officials and the Attorney General over the new Form One selection criteria that favours students from public schools.
The association wants the administrative decision by Minister Sam Ongeri quashed saying it is discriminatory and oppressive to more than 107,000 students who sat the Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination last year.
The Minister last week issued a circular that limited the number of pupils from private school who can get places in national schools.
Their lawyer Chege Wainaina told Justice John Mwera to issue an order compelling the respondents to apply the usual performance-based criteria of merit in national schools selection for admission in all secondary schools.
In his ruling Justice Mwera said the application raised weighty issues and ordered that they serve the case on the respondents and appear before Justice Daniel Musinga on Tuesday for an inter-partes hearing to decide whether an order should be issued.
Prof Ongeri said admission to private schools would also take the number of private candidates over the total district candidature and multiply it by the total district quota.
"In 2010 out of 746,107 candidates that took the KCPE examination, 14.41pc were from private schools while 85.59pc were from public schools. This is what has informed the distribution of form one places in national schools on the principle of equitable distribution of opportunities in line with the new constitution."
"In a bid to meet the equity provision, selection of candidates to join national schools this year will take into account the number of candidates who took KCPE from private schools as compared to those in public schools." He added.
In this year\’s selection process, private schools are set to benefit more after the introduction of a new selection process which revised their quota upwards to 27.1 percent from 14.41 percent.
Prof Ongeri said this would translate to 1,224 places in national schools for private school candidates compared to 3,293 places for public schools.
"In a bid to meet the equity provision, selection of candidates to join national schools this year will take into account the number of candidates who took KCPE from private schools as compared to those from public schools," the Education Minister stated.
He explained that for the previous year, private schools registered 107,514 candidates compared to 638,593 for public schools.
He pointed out that using the old selection system, private schools would have got 651 places in national schools while public secondary schools would have been given 3,866 places.
"The formulae used for the district quota in a national school is the district candidature divided by the national candidature multiplied by the available places in a national school while for the private/public quota, either the public or private candidature is divided by the total district candidature multiplied by the total district quota," he said.
Prof Ongeri said that the principle of equitable distribution of opportunities in line with the new Constitution is what would govern the selection process.