25 November 2018

Kenya: Parents in Dilemma As Ministry Bans Form 1 Second Selection

Thousands of parents who would previously wait for second Form One selection must now make up their minds well in advance on where to take their children after the ministry removed a repeat exercise.

Previously, some of the them would ignore the first selection and wait for the second one to benefit from slots left by students unable to turn up in prestigious schools due to lack of fees.

The parents also used to book space with school principals, some at a fee, to reserve slots in institutions of their choice.

The shocker came on Monday from Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed during the release of KCPE results when she announced that there will be only one selection process.

"As a result, the ministry's relevant departments have put in place all mechanisms to ensure that the selection exercise is completed as fast as possible," said the CS.

ELITE SCHOOLS

The second selection also used to provide room for Ministry of Education and other senior officers to place their children in elite schools.

Education Principal Secretary Bello Kipsang Saturday reiterated that there will be no second Form One selection.

"All candidates are transiting to Form One in January and therefore parents should be ready to take their children to schools that they will be selected to join," said Dr Kipsang while briefing journalists at the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) headquarters on Dennis Pritt Road on the progress of the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.

The Sunday Nation has since learnt that several parents are already looking for space for their children in elite secondary schools.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) chairman Kahi Indimuli asked parents to take their children to schools that they will have been selected to join.

CALLS

"Headteachers do not do selection. It is done by the ministry under a computerised system," said Mr Indimuli, who admitted that the more than 10,000 principals had started to receive calls from parents for slots.

At Jogoo House, where lobbying for slots in elite schools happens, the ministry has indicated that there will be no such room this time round unlike in the past.

National Parents Association (NPA) Chairman Nicholas Maiyo regretted that most parents want their children to join elite schools.

"Students will still do well in examinations and therefore parents should take up slots in any school. The big schools have a name but students still pass their examinations in these other small schools," said Mr Maiyo.

Top national schools usually get as many as 100,000 applications from candidates yet they can only admit about 1,000 students across the country.

Already, Ms Mohamed has set up a team to guide the selection process which will see thousands of students placed in national schools starting December 3.

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