Kenya: Private Schools Cry Foul Over Form One Selection

4 December 2019

The Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) has demanded a fresh selection of Form One students on grounds that they had been disenfranchised by the process despite exemplary performance of their candidates.

Speaking at his office, Nyeri County KPSA coordinator Dionisio Ndegwa complained that many top performing candidates in private schools were placed in institutions that they did not pick.

"It is not late, let's redo the selection exercise again and let us base it on merit and transparency. Where all the stakeholders are involved and the interests of the children are heard," Mr Ndegwa said on Wednesday.

He also wants the criteria used during selection made public and list of placements released to ensure transparency.

According to him, the formula used during the Form One selection was not fair as the candidates were not given a level playing ground.

"Candidates with 400 marks and above were to be given places in national schools and if it is not in their first choice, give them the second choice which was not the case with candidates in private schools," he said.

In Nyeri Farm View primary, Nelson Wachira who got 423 marks and Alex Mathenge with 408 both wanted to get places at Alliance and Mangu high schools respectively but were offered places Barichu Boys High School, a school in in Kirinyaga County that they had not selected.

He said this was the case in many schools in the county that had lodged complaints at his office.

"Children should be treated equally whether from private or public school. They were told that if they worked hard they would go to their schools of choice but they are placed in schools they did not even select," he said.

"Parents, school proprietors and the pupils have worked and invested a lot of money to ensure that there are enough resources to give quality to the pupils and so hard work should be rewarded," he said, noting that directors and school owners were disappointed in the trend.

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