NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 20 – Seventy-eight percent of candidates who sat for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations in 2014 will be admitted to secondary schools.
The 695,684 of the 888,258 candidates is one percent more than those who sat for the KCPE in 2013. A hundred thousand of the 192,574 who will miss secondary spots, Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said, will be admitted to youth polytechnics.
“My Ministry is alive to the fact that 22 percent of the candidates may not be placed into secondary schools. We however wish to inform the public that my Ministry in conjunction with County Governments initiated the process of placing students into these institutions in 2014 and those involved have reported impressive results,” he said in a statement read out on his behalf by his Principal Secretary for Education Belio Kipsang at the launch of the form one national school selection exercise on Tuesday.
Kipsang said the candidates were admitted into the 7,711 secondary schools in the country based on their performance, to meet district quotas as well as affirmative action requirements with 20,291 admitted to the country’s 103 national schools; 128,049 to county schools; 434,048 to sub-county schools; 66,497 to extra-county schools; 44,078 to private schools and 996 to special needs schools.
The Kenya Private Schools Association however questioned what affirmative action entailed, threatening to deregister as centres of examination should the exercise be disadvantageous to private school pupils.
“If registration as a KNEC (Kenya National Examination Council) centre is what will cause us a lot of pain then why should we stick with registration centres? We’ll just teach and the public schools and the government will offer examinations,” the association CEO Peter Ndoro told reporters on Tuesday.
In a rebuttal Kipsang told Capital FM News that private schools had no reason to complain as they were allocated 25 percent of the national school placements.
“In fact they were advantaged. With a population of 15 percent of the candidature, they got 25 percent of places. Really they have a 10 percent advantage over their population. It is about equity,” he said.
Among the national schools, Alliance Girls High School attracted the highest number of applicants at 156,347 followed by the Alliance High School at 154,417 applicants and Mangu High School at 148,594.
Some national schools, the Director of Secondary and Tertiary Education Robert Masese said, received none.
“Going forward life is no longer about the past,” Kipsang told Capital FM News in response, “where whether people chose your school or not you still got students. What we’re telling them is that we are taking children based on choice of school.”
The thrust of which, his Science and Technology counterpart Colletta Suda said, was that secondary schools which do not attract candidates will have no reason to remain in operation.
“So Alliance Girls, Alliance Boys, Mangu High, they are flagship. They are top of the range. But there are those which are also coming up; the younger schools, the ones which are not so well endowed. So on the basis of equity, they also need to have their share. Otherwise you simply close them because there is no justification for their continued existence if they don’t have students who are interested in being in those schools,” she said.
In addition to calling on the school heads to justify the existence of their institutions, Kipsang told them that as the, “CEOs,” of their institutions, they should ensure they hold the necessary titles for their land.
This, he said in light of the alleged land grab of two acres from Lang’ata Road Primary School. He also cautioned the school heads against including national examination fees in their fee structures as the government had already catered for it.
“I’m saying has already paid. Not that we shall pay. We have already issued KNEC a cheque of Sh2.2 billion to take care of the examination fees,” he said.