Douglas Dindi @PeopleDailyKe
The number of students joining secondary in the four counties of the former western province have increased only marginally this year. This is despite State interventions through the scrapping of extra fees payments demanded by some schools and increased tuition fee capitation.
Following the official close of the Form One admissions exercise recently, officials reveal the government missed the 100 per cent Form One reporting target in all the four counties of Kakamega, Bungoma, Busia and Vihiga. Kakamega county recorded the highest transition from primary to secondary at 88.8 per cent followed by Vihiga county at 88.5 per cent while Busia county trailed with 79.83 per cent. Bungoma county was third with 84.42 per cent.
The statistics released by the regional commissioner Mongo Chimwaga cited child labour and reluctance by some parents to send their children to school as factors fuelling low enrolment, particularly for some of the rural, agriculture-based sub counties.
Some 107,706 candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Education (KCPE) last year joined Form One in secondary schools across the region against 125,635 vacancies, representing 85.73 per cent. This only three percentage points above the transition rate recorded in 2017, which was before the government increased student annual capitation funding from Sh12,000 to Sh22,244.
Busia county’s Bunyala sub-county with 1,025 out of 1,514 candidates representing 68 per cent and Teso north sub-county with 3,088 out of 4,490 candidates representing 68.77 per cent transition rate posted the lowest transition in the region.
In Kakamega north sub-county, school dropouts joined the 2017 Standard Eight graduates in the scramble for available Form One places in the area, pushing the Form One enrolment to 111.7 per cent. There were 4,386 Form One vacancies in the sub-county but 4,902 got enrolled. Super enrolments were noted in Mumias East (99.1 per cent), Kakamega Central (96.65 per cent) and Kakamega South 93.35 per cent. Likuyani (62.23 per cent) and Lugari (67.17 per cent) sub-counties recorded the lowest intakes.
In Bungoma county, Bungoma West and Cheptais sub-counties posted the highest transition at 99.4 and 99.1 per cent respectively. Mt Elgon sub-county had the lowest transition rate at 70 per cent.
About 4,360 students reported in Sabatia sub-county in Vihiga county above the expected turnout of 4,105 while neighbouring Vihiga sub-county had 97 per cent. Luanda sub-county performed poorly at 63 per cent.
Form Ones reporting in Busia county averaged 79.83 per cent, with only Butula sub-county hitting a transition above 90 per cent.