Shock as 100,000 KCSE students to miss university places

Nearly 100,000 students who attained the minimum university entry grade in the just-released KCSE examination results will miss admission to public institutions.

The number signals a recurrent wastage that has become the hallmark of high stakes national examinations.

Statistics released on Thursday by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i show the number of candidates attaining the minimum university entry grade this year has shot up to 165,766 from 149,717 in the previous year.

Compared to 2014, this is an increase of about 16,000 qualified students who will be left out of public university education.

According to the declared capacities in the public institutions, only 70,000 students would be absorbed, effectively locking out another 95,766 students who have met the minimum entry grade.

During last year’s admission, about 79,000 students who scored C+ and above were locked out.

Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) statistics for the 2015 KCSE further reveal that some 137,057 students either scored a mean grade of C (plain) and C–(minus).

Yet, government statistics indicate the declared capacities in the 53 State-run diploma colleges are only about 45,000, implying that another 187,828 will miss spaces in the middle level colleges.

The minimum admission requirement for the government-run middle level diploma colleges is C- (minus).

This means the total number of students who will have missed university entry added to those who qualify for the middle level colleges, is 232,823.

The Ministry of Education has pledged to create an additional 55,000 spaces through expanding the existing colleges and constructing new institutions.

Dr Matiang’i said some 290 technical training colleges (TTIs) will be constructed across all the constituencies.

He said 60 of these have already been constructed and are nearing completion. Another 70 are in their second phase of construction.

Documents from the ministry reveal that about Sh27 billion will be pumped into expanding the middle level colleges by end of next year.

Matiang’i said in the last two years alone, Sh16 billion has been injected into the expansion programme.

With each institution likely to host a maximum of 400 students, after the completion of phase one and two of TTIs construction, only 52,000 additional spaces will be created.

This also means that the total number of spaces available in all the middle-level colleges will only rise to about 100,000.

Cumulatively, some 132,823 students who sat last year’s KCSE exams will completely have nowhere to go by the end of this year.

The stark statistics paint a picture of the increasing rate of wastage of students churned out annually but fail to hold onto something to steer their careers forward.

Standard - Saturday, March 5th, 2016

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