, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 4 – Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi has defended the formula his Ministry used in this year’s form one selection exercise saying that they have acted within the provisions of the Constitution.
He said the Constitution allows for affirmative action and his Ministry was therefore not obligated to base the form one selection process purely on merit.
Cases of high scoring students failing to secure slots in national schools were to be expected as the competition for the best performing national schools is high, he added.
“It should be borne in mind that it is not all the time that the expectations of all the candidates will be met in terms of their preferred schools,” he said at a press briefing on Wednesday.
Even so, he added, merit still came into play as the top three boys and girls from every sub-county — regardless of whether they come from a public or private school — were admitted into national schools.
Echoing his Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang’s sentiments to Capital FM News at the launch of the 2015 form one selection exercise, Kaimenyi said the complaints from private schools over the number of national school slots they received were unwarranted.
“Look at the numbers: 14.9 percent of those who sat KCPE in 2014 were from private schools but an average of 22 percent were admitted to national schools. If you ask me, our policy of admitting the top three boys and girls from every sub-county to national schools worked for them because it’s only logical that the larger number gets the larger slice of cake,” he explained.
Education PS Kipsang also sought to discount accusations that they admitted students to schools they did not choose.
He said that if a student did not get placed in a national school of their choosing, they were admitted into county, sub-county or extra county school of their choosing.
The problem he said, was the tendency for the vast majority of students to apply for the same old national schools while there were now a total of 103; majority of which did not attract much interest.