Form One selection: KCPE candidates to miss slots in their schools of choice

Form One selection: KCPE candidates to miss slots in their schools of choice
File image of candidates sitting national exams. PHOTO| COURTESY

Thousands of candidates who sat this year’s KCPE exam will miss slots in their most preferred schools of choice due to the huge scramble for positions at top national schools.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha says the selection panel faced a hard time in placing students to some specific schools that had a high demand.

Speaking during the launch of the selection exercise, Prof. Magoha said  33,009 candidates were selected to join national schools based on merit and the order of choice.

Some 184,816 candidates will join extra county schools while the highest number of candidates, 669,145 pupils, have been placed to sub-county schools.

The students are required to report to Form One by January 13 next year.

Out of the 1,083,456 candidates who sat for this year’s KCPE exam, 1,075,201 were selected to join secondary schools.

According to the CS, the rest of the candidates who were not selected are inmates, overage and refugees in camps.

The CS, however, promised to seek guidance from the President, on whether the left out candidates could be included in the admission plans

“Admitting all this will complete our plan of admitting all candidates in line with the 100% transition from primary to secondary education as required by Article 53(1)(b) of the Kenya Constitution on provision of free and compulsory basic education to every Kenyan child,” said Magoha.

A total of 777 candidates under the Special Needs Education programme were placed in their choices in regular schools while 1,246 have been placed in various categories of schools.

30,000 candidates were placed in schools they had not chosen, due to unavailability of vacancies in home counties while other candidates opted to select one or two choices of secondary schools against the required threshold of 11, thus limiting placement by their preferred choices.

The Ministry of Education had a tough time in placing top KCPE performers in schools of their choice, since majority of the candidates selected top schools which have no capacity to admit all of them thus some were selected in schools they had not chosen.

For instance, Pangani Girls National had 111,817 applications yet it has a capacity of only 336 students. Alliance High school, with a capacity of 384 students, had 83,489 applications while Kenya High had 49,727 applicants yet it has a capacity of only 336 students.

Another challenge noted during the selection was inadequate capacities of places in secondary schools in some counties. For instance, Nairobi county with a candidature of 62,973, had only 23,613 slots, creating a shortfall of 39,360.

Mombasa County with a candidature of 18,989 had 5,126 allocated slots, creating a shortfall of 13,863 while Kilifi with a candidature of 34,404 could only accomodate 10,493 students, creating a shortfall of 23,911 slots.

A total of 9,000 candidates will benefit from scholarships, through the Education Ministry’s Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (SEQIP), as part of the process of accelerating the 100 per cent transition policy.

The application process was opened up last Friday and will be open until December 16th, 2019.

Candidates will only be able to benefit from the free day secondary schools education based on the enrollment uploaded by principals on National Education Management Information System (NEMIS).

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Story By Paul Ombati
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