Fresh Row Over Form One Intake

Private schools are opposed to the new Form One selection guidelines released by the Ministry of Education recently where only 30 per cent of slots will be reserved for them in public secondary schools.


The schools are planning to petition the relevant authorities for an acceptable criteria that favours for all children regardless of their social backgrounds.

The school heads are especially hoping to get a hearing from the new Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i.

“In private schools, we do not have many friends and people think that we are just making money. But we are contributing to the government’s efforts in ensuring education for all children,” said the Kenya Private Schools Association chairman Ernest Wangai.

Mr Wangai said that the criteria had forced some parents to register their children in public school examination centres where they only go to sit exams.

“If the formula is fair, parents will not need to do that,” said Mr Wangai.

According to 2013 statistics, there were 2.1 million children in private primary schools across the country, a figure Mr Wangai says has risen to three million this year.

Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination results are normally announced shortly after the Christmas break and before New Year’s Day and Form Selection follows thereafter in January.

Mr Wangai who was addressing members at an annual luncheon at Pride Inn Hotel on Friday said the ministry criteria is unjust and discriminates learners from private schools.

According to the new guidelines, 10 candidates (five of either gender) in each sub-county will be admitted to national secondary schools.

The candidates will be selected both from private schools and public schools.

In extra-county schools, pupils from public schools will secure 70 per cent of the vacancies with private schools taking the remaining 30 per cent.

Previously, private and secondary students were allocated spaces on a 50:50 ratio.

“We are calling for a policy that recognises the need to support vulnerable children both in rural and urban areas,” he said.

He said this year bright students in private school preferred registering in public primary schools.

He urged members to continue investing in quality private secondary schools He said there has been a constant population growth at all levels over the last eight years except in class eight and seven which has been affected by the government’s policy on Form one selection.

Private schools employs more than 85,000 teachers and 52,000 support staff.

Meanwhile, a plan for the digitising of private school learning content was introduced and presented to members.

School owners and managers sampled the content which will see teachers ditch the chalk board to laptops, smart boards and interactive screens next year.

In Summary

The schools are planning to petition the relevant authorities for an acceptable criteria that favours for all children regardless of their social backgrounds.

Only 30 per cent of slots are reserved for private school students in public secondary institutions.

http://www.nation.co.ke/news/Fresh-row-over-Form-One-intake/-/1056/2985488/-/10iv2yyz/-/index.html

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