Parents raise queries regarding Form One selection process

Parents have expressed disappointment with the Form One selection that started on Tuesday, with some calling for an overhaul of the process.


Several candidates are yet to learn what secondary schools they have been admitted to while others, with more than 400 marks, have been invited to join county schools.

In some cases, more than 20 candidates from the same primary school have been invited to join the same secondary school.
For instance, at Sukari Presbyterian School in Ruiru, 20 candidates with over 400 marks have been admitted to Ruiru Secondary School.

At Bethlehem in Ruiru, another 30 students have been admitted to Ruiru Girls’ High School, with parents saying that it is disappointing and demoralising and kills the spirit of competition.

However, Education Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi told the Sunday Nation the students could have been selected due to their choice of school.
“I cannot tell what could have transpired, but once I look at the issue, I will be able to tell,” said Prof Kaimenyi.

“My friend’s son who had 428 marks and sat his examination in Nairobi had expected to be admitted to Mangu, Starehe Boys or another good school. The son has been admitted to Muhoho Secondary,” Mr James Mwangi Kiraki wrote on his facebook page.

A girl who scored 413 marks has been selected to join Mutira Secondary School in Kerugoya even though Moi Girls Eldoret, Thika High School and Pangani Girls were her choices.

Kenya National Association of Parents and Teachers (KNAPT) yesterday expressed disappointment with the selection process, saying it had resulted in frustration for candidates who performed well in the examination.

FRUSTRATED

“Some candidates across the country who have not been placed in any school are frustrated as well as their parents and this is not healthy for the education sector,” said the association’s chairman Mr Nathan Barasa.

He said many children with good marks have been left out and wondered why those tasked with the responsibility have not taken their work seriously.

He said that many candidates who scored 390 marks and above had been picked to join extra county schools despite some coming from marginalised areas.

Mr Barasa said the government had emphasised that candidates were picked to join secondary schools based on school choices, merit and gender and wondered why some, despite scoring high marks, had missed places in national schools.

He asked the government to step in and address parents’ concerns, saying that it will be unfair for them to camp at Jogoo House to have their complaints addressed.

Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) chief executive officer Peter Ndoro warned that they will soon move to court to compel the government to release statistics on the selection process.

“We have written to Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi and demanded that the results on the selection process from national, extra county, county to sub-counties are released to the public for scrutiny,” said Mr Ndoro.

He said several candidates had passed the examination but were not selected to join any schools. He said it was hard to tell how the selection was done given that the information has been withheld from the public.

However, the ministry began to upload the information on its website on Friday.

According to Prof Kaimenyi, the selection of candidates was guided by the constitutional principles of equity and fairness that guarantee every child a fair chance of placement. Nation - Saturday January 24, 2015

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