National schools increased to 105

More KCPE candidates will join national secondary schools this year compared to last year after the government elevated 27 institutions to national status.


The country now has a total of 105 national secondary schools, up from last year’s 78.

About 687,000 candidates out of the 880,486 who sat for this year’s KCPE are expected join Form one next year. The rest will be free to apply for vocational training.

The government has also promised that candidates from poor families will continue with the education if admitted to public secondary schools.

That means the Ministry of Education could restrain headteachers from charging higher fees.

One of the ways this can be achieved would be by implementing the recommendations of the task force Dr Kilemi Mwiria led, which proposed that a student in a boarding secondary school — whether national, county or sub-county — should pay a maximum of Sh38,969 while day scholars should pay a maximum of Sh11,105 a year.

“The admission will be based on merit, quotas, equity, affirmative action and student choice,” Education Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi said.

CALLING LETTERS

While making the announcement at Mitihani House in Nairobi on Monday, Prof Kaimenyi said that available slots for national schools will be filled first, after which the schools will send calling letters to the selected candidates.

Usually a pre-selection will be conducted before the main selection at five national schools, namely: Starehe Boys School and Centre, Starehe Girls School and Centre, Moi Forces Academy Nairobi, Moi Forces Academy Lanet and Utumishi Academy.

If the rules introduced last year remain unchanged, the top two candidates in each district will be enrolled in the national schools regardless of whether they sat their exams in a private or public primary school.

Extra-county schools — which are former high-performing provincial schools — will be the next to admit.

Traditionally, they have admitted students in the ratio of 40 per cent nationally, 40 per cent from their respective counties and 20 per cent from their host districts.

On Monday, Mr Edward Obwocha, the national secretary for secondary schools in the Kenya Union for Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) welcomed the elevation of the 27 new national schools, but asked the government to ensure their standards match those of the existing national schools.

“Enough funding should be provided to ensure that the facilities fit the new status. Admitting students with high marks to be in schools that lack the requisite infrastructure will lead to them being demoralised,” he said in a telephone interview. -
Nation, Monday December 29, 2014.

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