Top KCPE candidate to join Starehe Boys Centre
The country's top student in this year's KCPE will join Starehe Boys Centre.
Victor Oduor Odhiambo from Daisy Special School in Kakamega got 437 marks in what has been billed as Kenya's most guarded examination.
The top girl, Gitonga Caroline Gatwiri (434) of Fred's Academy in Meru will join Alliance Girls High School.
Another star, Kaboi Kevin Ngatia (436) of Tender Care Academy in Nairobi, will join Alliance High School, while Samuel Monyancha Bobembe (435) has been selected to join Kisii High School.
Preliminary results of the selection as compiled by The Standard suggest that private schools landed some of the most prestigious national schools.
Ogongo Titus Anyona (434), who sat the exams at Marel Academy in Bungoma, will join Alliance High School, while Linda Noel (433) of Xaverian School Kisumu will join Moi Girls Eldoret. JaneRose Wanjiku Mwangi (433) has been selected to join Alliance Girls High School.
This is the first time parents will know the secondary schools their children will be joining before Christmas, giving them ample time to plan.
Speaking while launching the Form One selection at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i said a total of 24,795 candidates have been admitted to the coveted national schools of their choice.
Of these are 5,808 who scored 400 marks and above. Dr Matiang'i said this was aimed at awarding merit. This also includes 63 special needs education students selected to regular national schools of their choice.
The top five candidates of either gender from every district have also been placed in national schools on the basis of the choices they made during registration for KCPE.
Matiang'i said 18,987 who have been placed to national schools did not get 400 marks and above but performed well in the examinations. Those set to join national schools are, however, a small fraction of the 942,021 candidates who sat the examinations this year.
Matiang'i, however, said the Government was investing heavily on expansion of spaces in some identified schools.
"The Government recognises the central place of national schools as centres of education excellence and national integration. We intend to enhance the number of places further by upgrading two schools – Cheptiret Boys in Uasin Gishu and Osen Girls in Baringo – to the national category next year," he revealed.
This, he argued, will ensure the country has at least two national schools in every county, adding that funds have already been disbursed for upgrading and expanding infrastructure in the two schools in readiness for their first national class admission in 2018.
Matiang'i further announced that a total of 65,331 candidates will be admitted to extra-county schools, 133,785 to county schools, 492,576 to sub-county schools and 1,449 to special needs education schools, bringing the total to 790,680 candidates.
Cumulatively, only 717,936 will get Form One places. Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) Chief Executive Officer Peter Ndoro said there were about 100,000 available slots in private schools. This means that, if all spaces in private schools are taken up, some 134,452 candidates are likely to miss Form One places in both public and public schools.
Matiang'i said the Government had invested heavily in the expansion of training
opportunities for those who will not get placement in secondary schools. He said there were adequate places in polytechnics and technical and vocational educational training institutions.
Matiang'i explained that the programme was designed to provide an alternative route to higher education and training that can eventually provide a route to university degrees and even attainment of PhD level qualifications.
Matiang'i said parents will no longer queue at the principal's office waiting to be given letters because all the candidates will download their school placement letters from the education website.
Candidates will also be required to send a short text message to the code 20042.
He said this year, transmission of admission letters for national and extra-county schools had been fully digitised and consequently, receipt of admission letters by candidates and their parents shall be instantaneous.
"Candidates have now been advised to visit the ministry's website www.education.go.ke for information on where they have been selected to and download their admission letters," he said.
After downloading individual admission letters, candidates must present them to respective head teachers of the primary schools where they sat their KCPE examination for authentication through rubber stamps.
The letter, alongside a candidate's birth certificate, will further be authenticated by the head teacher of the admitting secondary school.
The online platform has subsequently eliminated parents buying slots for their children to join national or extra-county schools to the chagrin of students coming from poor background.
Matiang'i said candidates selected, and those that will be selected at other levels, are picked based on wide and fair criteria that are scientifically and accurately proven to ensure that no candidate is disadvantaged on account of gender, centre or region.
"Placement of candidates into secondary schools is guided by three key considerations: merit, equity, choice and affirmative action," said Matiang'i.
The merit consideration is meant to ensure that performance in examination is rewarded accordingly.
But even as he spoke on Form One admissions, Matiang'i warned secondary schools principals who force students to buy school items from specific shops.
He said that the ministry had noted with concern that a number of school heads had been doing business and coercing parents to buy the items from where they have businesses. Matiang'i said a principal from Nakuru County has been forcing parents to buy mattresses from a particular shop at a cost of Sh3,900 while the normal cost is Sh1,900.
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