New rules for Form One selection out

KCPE candidates from private schools got a reprieve on Thursday after the government announced new rules which will ensure that the top two candidates in each district will be enrolled in national secondary schools.


The candidates will be admitted to the 78 national schools regardless of whether they were in private or public primary schools. All the other qualified candidates will fight it out for national school slots using a pro-rata system developed to ensure equity.

Under the new guidelines, former provincial schools will also admit students from across the country when the selection starts on January 14.

Going by past performance, private schools which have been taking the lion’s share of the top positions in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams are likely to dominate these slots at a ratio of 2:1 over public schools.

In a circular to all education officials and principals, Education principal secretary Belio Kipsang said the guidelines are meant to ensure proportionate sharing of national secondary school slots between public and private primary schools.

The new system is aimed at achieving equity in school placement through quota and affirmative action. It will also harmonise the selection process throughout the country at the national, county and district levels.

Extra county schools — former high-performing provincial schools — will admit students at the ratio of 40 per cent nationally, 40 per cent from their respective counties and 20 per cent from their host districts.

Admission to the 78 national schools will be 100 per cent from the national catchment. An additional 27 schools have been identified for elevation to national status but will recruit their first group of students under the new rules next year.

But yesterday, private schools through their chairman, Mr Ernest Wangai, said they will only accept merit to be used in determining slots since the quota system was unfair to private schools.

“Giving the two top students in the county schools of their choice is taking merit into account; but we believe it is not enough for private schools. The government should understand that private schools are run by citizens of this country who spend their money and without any use of the tax payers’ money. This should be rewarded,” the Kenya Private Schools Association chair said.

Mr Wangai said the new model was a product of the talks between the government and their association, but warned that they would not accept anything less than the 46 per cent.

“I fear for the Nairobi County which has many private schools. I also fear that if the whole process is not automated it will be a recipe for massive corruption,” outgoing chairman Kabue Mwai said.
200,000 of the 839,759 pupils who sat last year’s KCPE exams whose results were released on Tuesday, will get Form One places.

A district’s allocation at the national level will be determined by multiplying the district KCPE candidature of a given gender with the available vacancies in a given national school and dividing it by the national KCPE candidature of a given gender.

“Selection for admission into Form One shall be done strictly on merit, equity and choice of schools by the candidates based on the available places in a particular school,” the circular reads.

The selection in the national schools begins on January 14 according to the circulation. However, 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.

The selection will be computerised except for district schools which will be done manually. Reporting of Form Ones begins on February 3, while the final replacement date for those who will have forfeited their places is March 20.

Parents who wish that their children are admitted in alternative schools and those wishing to be considered for replacement will place requests with the principals of preferred schools at least a week before the official reporting date.

The PS warned parents against falling prey to middlemen who he said have been known to position themselves strategically to reap from desperate parents.

For these and other details, follow the links below:

KCPE Results » KCSE Results » Secondary Schools in Kenya

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