Headteachers put on notice as gov’t searches for 130,000 ‘missing’ students


File image of KCPE candidates
File image of KCPE candidates. PHOTO| COURTESY

The government has warned that it will apprehend and take action against headteachers who ask for fees from children in public primary and day secondary schools.

Deputy President William Ruto on Sunday insisted that the government is keen on ensuring that every student completes their education up to the secondary school level, hence, no child should be locked out of school on the basis of school fees.

The DP’s remarks come in the wake of revelations that about 130,000 candidates who sat last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam are yet to join secondary school.

“We would want to see every child go to school because it is their constitutional right,” said Dr Ruto, who was speaking during a Sunday service at the Pentecostal Evangelistic Fellowship of Africa church in South B, Nairobi.

“Youths without jobs are a threat to our future. That is why the government has decided to ensure that those who have completed primary schools join secondary schools while others enroll for technical training.”

The deputy president urged Members of Parliament to assist needy students through the Constituency Development Funds to ensure no child stays out of school.

He said there should be no excuse of any child failing to go to school, adding that by ensuring access to education, the country would be on its way to addressing the sticky issue of youth unemployment.

The government has set aside Ksh.36 billion to cater for the Free Primary and Free Day Secondary Education programmes in public institutions.

Recently, Early Learning and Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said the funds will cater for students whose details had been captured on National Education Management Information System (NEMIS).

Statistics from the Ministry of Education indicate that at the moment, Form 1 transition stands at 87% nationally with six counties — Kwale, Isiolo, Samburu, Lamu and Mombasa — ranking below the national average.

This prompted the government to launch a one-week National Last Mile Campaign to trace the missing Form One students, with chiefs being given the task to find the learners who are not in school.

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