Form one selection exercise to be launched today
Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i is set to launch the form one selection exercise at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development on today.
The cabinet secretary is also expected to outline the new education reforms aimed at tackling corruption in the admission process.
The number of pupils joining secondary schools has increased by over 30,000 this year from 696,000 last year.
A total of 927,401 pupils sat the exams last year, 7,000 of who obtained 400 marks and above and are expected to join national schools, which have increased in number from 18 to 103 since 2012.
This comes after the government released new form one selection guidelines in October 2015 that will see more candidates from marginalised areas join national schools.
In 2015, former Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi launched the new form one selection guidelines which were aimed at promoting equity, fairness and merit in the selection process.
According to the guidelines, candidates will choose from four clusters of national schools and three county school clusters unlike before when they selected one per category.
The top five candidates of either gender in a sub-county will now get places in a national school of their choice, while positions in extra county schools will be shared in a ratio of 70:30 between public and private schools.
Kaimenyi said the guidelines would also ensure students with special needs are adequately catered for in the 25 special needs schools across the country.
He added that the policy was a deliberate effort by the government to ensure that pupils from poor families access top national schools.
For every three candidates from public primary schools, only one slot is given to private schools.
The government enforced the policy four years ago after it realised private school candidates dominated top positions in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination and gobbled up most slots in national schools.
This year’s (2016) form one selection exercise comes amid outcry over high secondary school fees.
In early January, a number of boarding schools issued fee structures beyond the set ceiling that caps boarding school fees at Sh53,000 and day schools at Sh9,000 with the government paying a subsidy of Sh12,000 for every student.
Matiang’i on Monday maintained that the caps on school fees would remain, saying his ministry expects to receive a list of all schools that have flouted the guidelines from county directors of education.
Deputy President William Ruto had earlier told public secondary school heads to stop charging extra fees beyond what is specified by the government.
Ruto noted that the Ministry of Education would take action against those who defy the fee guidelines released by the ministry.
He added that the government had increased capitation for secondary schools in addition to scrapping exam fees for both standard eight and form four pupils.
The deputy president also directed the Ministry of Education to investigate cases where head teachers are forcing parents to pay extra fees.
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