Business Daily (Nairobi)

Kenya: Public Primary Schools Favoured in Form One Selection Criterion

A pupil from an arid or semi-arid area who scored 350 marks in last year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination, for example, has a higher chance of joining a national school than a child from Nairobi with 400 marks.

Pangani Girls, Kanga High, Kisii High, Nyabururu Girls and Kakamega High are expected to have the highest intake of 270 students each.

Other elevated schools expected to admit many students are Chogoria Girls, Makueni Boys, Machakos Boys, Kagumo High and Kapsabet Boys.

These schools, alongside Friends Kamusinga, Lugulu Girls, Bunyore Girls and Garissa High will admit 225 students.

The Kenya Private Schools Association has opposed the selection formula and threatened to go to court again if it was applied on Friday.

Only 2,840 pupils from private schools will get slots in national secondary schools during Friday's selection.

The bulk of the places 7,677 have been reserved for pupils from public primary schools.

A formula prepared by the Ministry of Education gives a 27:73 ratio for private schools versus public schools respectively.It also favours bright pupils from arid and semi-arid areas over those from more affluent areas.

A pupil from an arid or semi-arid area who scored 350 marks in last year's Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination, for example, has a higher chance of joining a national school than a child from Nairobi with 400 marks.

There are 10,517 places at the national secondary schools for pupils who sat Class Eight Examinations last year.

The places will be shared among top performers depending on whether they come from private or public primary schools.

Education minister Sam Ongeri (top) is expected to announce the outcome of the selection at the Kenya Institute of Education.

Education secretary George Godia on Thursday said that most top performers in each county would be selected to the national schools.

"The creation of 6,000 new Form One slots has lessened the stiff competition that used to exist before," Prof Godia said.

The additional vacancies have been as a result of the upgrading of 30 provincial schools to national status, bringing the total number of national schools to 48.

Prof Godia said that more places would be created in the national schools in the next two years after a targeted upgrade of at least 50 other schools.

"This will eventually end the struggle for limited spaces in the schools."

Out of the new slots created by the 30 national schools, about 3,240 places will be reserved for boys with the girls taking up the rest -- 2,760.

Pangani Girls, Kanga High, Kisii High, Nyabururu Girls and Kakamega High are expected to have the highest intake of 270 students each.

Other elevated schools expected to admit many students are Chogoria Girls, Makueni Boys, Machakos Boys, Kagumo High and Kapsabet Boys. These schools, alongside Friends Kamusinga, Lugulu Girls, Bunyore Girls and Garissa High will admit 225 students.

The Kenya Private Schools Association has opposed the selection formula and threatened to go to court again if it was applied on Friday.

"These pupils sat the same KCPE exam with those in public schools. It is immoral to deny them vacancies in the national schools," said chairman John Mwai.

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