, NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 13 – At least 205,000 pupils who sat the 2011 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCSE) Examinations will miss places in secondary schools.
This figure however represents a significant decrease from those who missed places last year whose number stood at 260,000.
Speaking during the launch of the 2012 form one selection, Education Minister Sam Ongeri attributed this to good performance and the quarterly method of the form one selection process which ensured the number of students admitted to secondary schools increased.
“The national schools, there are 5,396 boys and 4,886 girls making a total of 10, 282, a big contrast from last year when we had about 4,391 students who were going to the 18 national schools,” he said.
He stated that students who made it to county schools totalled 138, 479.
“In county schools, we have 75,431 boys and 63,048 girls giving us a total of 138,479. At the district level we have 177,135 boys and 178,881 girls giving us a total of 358,036.”
He stated that the selection process ensured that 40 percent of students admitted in each school were drawn from all the counties nationwide.
He explained that this will motivate the schools to be competitive as more students are drawn to their institutions.
“The whole idea is to promote national integration and social cohesion among the Kenyan people. Annually parents visit education offices to seek for alternative schools after selection and placement of the KCPE candidates is conducted. The issue of equity has now been addressed,” he said.
The selection exercise came against the backdrop of new rules that scrapped the contentious system of Form One admissions that favours public schools.
The rules released by the Education Ministry stipulate that national schools will now use district quotas to pick students from public primary schools as they used to do previously.
The guidelines also scrap the provincial schools category, instead renaming them county schools, which will be allowed to select candidates from across the country.
The 750,000 pupils who sat the KCPE exams last month were affected by the released rules.
Competition for form one places in national schools was stiffer after a high number of candidates obtained top grades in the Standard Eight examinations.
Some 5,806 candidates scored 400 marks and above this year.
This is far more than the 4,200 who were admitted to the 18 national schools last year based on the 2010 KCPE examination results.
The government also elevated 30 provincial schools to national schools and education permanent secretary James ole Kiyiapi said the government planned to spend Sh750 million on the newly-created national schools this financial year to prepare them for their new status.
The plan has been to increase the number of candidates admitted to the national schools to 10,000.
The ministry guidelines also do away with the provincial schools category, which have been renamed county schools, and will be allowed to select candidates from across the country.
Parents and students will also be able to access details about the secondary school they have been selected to join through their phones.
The Education Minister said that they just need to provide details of the candidate’s index number and send it to 4042 where after they will be sent the particulars of the secondary school.
He further pointed out that a website has also been set up to do the same.