Ad­mis­sions D-day as schools lists to be re­vealed

Those who will join na­tional schools will be the first to know the in­sti­tu­tions where they will be ad­mit­ted

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - FRONT PAGE - owan­[email protected]­tion­media.com BY OUMA WAN­ZALA

Anx­i­ety mounts as se­lec­tion ends with can­di­dates picked to join na­tional schools be­ing the first to know fate from to­mor­row

Can­di­dates who sat this year’s Kenya Cer­tifi­cate of Pri­mary Ed­u­ca­tion (KCPE) ex­am­i­na­tion will from to­mor­row know the schools they will join in Jan­uary.

The first group to know their schools are those join­ing the 103 na­tional schools and who scored more than 400 marks.

The se­lec­tion, which started two weeks ago un­der the lead­er­ship of Di­rec­tor of Sec­ondary Ed­u­ca­tion Paul Ki­bet, came to an end on Fri­day in Naivasha with Ed­u­ca­tion Cab­i­net Sec­re­tary Amina Mo­hamed vis­it­ing the team for a brief.

Some 12,273 can­di­dates scored be­tween 401 and 500 marks which means they will get a di­rect ticket to na­tional schools. In Jan­uary this year, some 29,712 stu­dents joined na­tional schools which means that next year, the num­ber could go up.

Those who scored be­tween 301 and 400 marks are 228,414 which means that some of them will still end up in na­tional schools but de­pend­ing on the re­gion they come from with stu­dents from 17 marginalised ar­eas be­ing the great­est ben­e­fi­cia­ries.

The se­lec­tion of stu­dents for Form One is guided by four key con­sid­er­a­tions: Merit, eq­uity, choice and af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion. More im­por­tantly is the obli­ga­tion to en­sure 100 per cent tran­si­tion from pri­mary to sec­ondary ed­u­ca­tion.

The team that was meet­ing in Naivasha had a tough task which was to en­sure that se­lec­tion to na­tional schools re­flects the face of the coun­try. They also had a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure can­di­dates are placed in schools based on their gen­der, and im­ple­ment af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion, among other fac­tors.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the top five can­di­dates of ei­ther gen­der from ev­ery sub-county will be placed in na­tional schools on the ba­sis of the choices they made dur­ing reg­is­tra­tion for KCPE.

The min­istry has also a re­spon­si­bil­ity to en­sure eq­uity in place­ment in na­tional schools by ap­ply­ing sub­county quo­tas based on can­di­da­ture strength and af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion where a sub-county can­di­da­ture is too low to at­tract a quota.

By de­sign, af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion aims to guar­an­tee the par­tic­i­pa­tion of mi­nori­ties and marginalised groups in na­tional schools as guided by the Con­sti­tu­tion. The se­lec­tion will take place at na­tional and re­gional lev­els. The na­tional launch will take place to­mor­row at the Kenya In­sti­tute of Cur­ricu­lum De­vel­op­ment (KICD) while the re­gional launch will be on De­cem­ber 5 at des­ig­nated venues within the re­gions.

Ms Mo­hamed will pre­side over the ex­er­cise where se­lec­tion lists for na­tional schools will be is­sued with county direc­tors of ed­u­ca­tion, Teach­ers Ser­vice Com­mis­sion county direc­tors and prin­ci­pals of na­tional schools ex­pected to at­tend.

The re­gional launch will run from De­cem­ber 5 to 7 in 10 ar­eas.

In the North Rift re­gion, the ex­er­cise will take place at Moi Girls’ High School El­doret and the par­tic­i­pat­ing coun­ties will be Uasin Gishu, El­geyo-marak­wet, Nandi, Turkana and West Pokot while in Coast re­gion, the ex­er­cise will be at Coast Girls’ High School and will cover Mom­basa, Kil­ifi, Kwale, Tana River, Taita-taveta and Lamu.

In the South Rift, Ed­u­ca­tion Prin­ci­pal Sec­re­tary Be­lio Kip­sang will su­per­vise the event at Afraha High School, which will cover Keri­cho, Bomet, Nakuru, Narok, Baringo, Sam­buru and Laikipia.

In Kisumu, it will be at Kisumu Polytech­nic and will cover Si­aya, Ki- sumu, Homa Bay, Kisii, Nyamira and Mig­ori.

In Kakamega, the ex­er­cise will be at Kakamega High School and will cover Kakamega, Vi­higa, Bu­sia and Bun­goma while in the Met­ro­pol­i­tan re­gion, which cov­ers Nairobi, Ki­ambu and Ka­ji­ado, the ex­er­cise will be at Mang’u High School.

In Cen­tral re­gion, which in­cludes Ny­eri, Kirinyaga, Mu­rang’a and Nyan­darua, the event will be at Ny­eri Tech­ni­cal while in the Machakos re­gion, which cov­ers Machakos, Ki­tui and Makueni, the ex­er­cise will be at Machakos School.

In Garissa, it will be at NEP Girls’ High School and will in­volve Garissa, Wa­jir and Man­dera coun­ties while in Meru re­gion (Embu, Tharaka-nithi, Meru, Marsabit and Isi­olo) the ex­er­cise will be at Kaaga High School. “Prin­ci­pals have no role in the se­lec­tion since the ex­er­cise is done by a com­put­erised sys­tem,” said Kenya Sec­ondary School Heads As­so­ci­a­tion (Kessha) chair­man Kahi Indimuli.

How­ever, as the ex­er­cise goes on, par­ents are do­ing be­hind the scenes lob­by­ing for spe­cific schools with some prin­ci­pals play­ing hide and seek games.

“The prob­lem is that par­ents want their chil­dren to go to spe­cific schools. Some of these stu­dents did not se­lect these schools and do not want them but par­ents force them to go there,” said Mr Indimuli.

The chal­lenge the par­ents will have to con­tend with is that some stu­dents may be placed in schools far from their re­gions de­pend­ing on the avail­abil­ity of space. With the ban on a sec­ond se­lec­tion, par­ents will be hop­ing that the chil­dren are se­lected to their schools of choice.

Pre­vi­ously, par­ents would ig­nore the first se­lec­tion and wait for the sec­ond one in or­der to ben­e­fit from slots left by stu­dents un­able to re­port for var­i­ous rea­sons.

Ms Mo­hamed an­nounced that there will be only one se­lec­tion. “As a re­sult, the min­istry’s rel­e­vant de­part­ments have put in place all mech­a­nisms to en­sure that the se­lec­tion is com­pleted as fast as pos­si­ble,” said the CS.

Na­tional Par­ents As­so­ci­a­tion chair­man Ni­cholas Maiyo said most par­ents want their chil­dren to join elite schools. “Par­ents should take up slots in any school. The big schools have a name but stu­dents still pass their ex­am­i­na­tions in these other small schools,” said Mr Maiyo.

Top na­tional schools usu­ally get as many as 100,000 applications from can­di­dates yet they can only ad­mit about 600.

This year, the top can­di­dates scored 453 marks while the num­ber of can­di­dates scor­ing 400 marks and above shot up sig­nif­i­cantly. More than 130,000 stu­dents are ex­pected to join 531 ex­tra county schools while 150,000 stu­dents will re­port to 1,031 county schools.

Over 700,000 stu­dents will join sub-county schools, spe­cial schools will get 900 and 70,000 stu­dents will join pri­vate schools.

In 2015, the gov­ern­ment came up with tough guide­lines on Form One se­lec­tion. Un­der the new rules, the 103 na­tional schools were grouped into four clus­ters, with each can­di­date re­quired to pick only one school from each clus­ter.

A re­cent re­port by Au­di­tor-gen­eral Ed­ward Ouko re­vealed that 85 schools up­graded to na­tional sta­tus were not at­tract­ing stu­dents.

“The con­tin­ued pres­sure on the orig­i­nal na­tional schools was at­trib­uted to low re­port­ing rate in the up­graded schools. An anal­y­sis shows that 13 out of 16 newly up­graded schools could not at­tract even a half of the stu­dents se­lected and in some cases only three per cent re­ported,” says the re­port.

Mr Ouko said low re­port­ing rate was at­trib­uted to a pub­lic per­cep­tion that the new na­tional schools were yet to meet the stan­dards of the orig­i­nal na­tional schools.

FILE | NA­TION

Calvin Kip­too who scored 445 marks in the KCPE exam. Form One ad­mis­sion lists will be out from to­mor­row.

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