Private schools unhappy with govt ban on exam ranking

The proprietors of private schools in Kiambu County have criticised the government for abolishing the ranking of schools and candidates in national examinations.

They have also decried the government’s decision to give pupils from public schools priority over those from private schools in admissions to public secondary schools.

Ms Mary Kirika, the chairperson of the Kenya Private Schools Association's Thika branch, said the move would destroy private institutions, which she said play a critical role in the education sector.

She asked the government to rethink its decision to end ranking in KCPE exams and selective admissions to Form One, saying this would kill learners’, teachers’ and parents’ morale.

“When the government introduced free primary education, it could not accommodate the large number of pupils seeking to join schools and a good number of them found room in private schools. Why destroy these institutions?” she said.

She said merit should be encouraged as it promotes hard work and commitment.

“Even best-performing companies are rewarded, why not schools?” she wondered.

Ms Kirika, who owns St Johns High Visioned Academy, said the Ministry of Education should have consulted widely before coming up with the decision to ban the ranking of schools.

In the past two years, private schools in Thika West and Ruiru districts took the top 10 positions in Kiambu County and none of the public schools appeared anywhere among the top in the ranking.

Some of the top achievers included Plains View Academy in Githunguri Bambini School, Lily Academy, Excel Academy, Danjose Education Centre, Wankan Academy and Bethlehem Academy.

According to Ruiru District education officer Roseline Litaba, private schools have a better pupil-teacher ratio and better learning facilities compared with public schools and that is why private schools perform better.

“For instance in the whole of Kahawa Sukari and Kahawa Wendani areas, there is only one public school, Ndia-ini Primary School, which has no proper learning facilities,” the DEO explained. - Nation, Monday, 29 December 2014

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