31,000 candidates secure slots in national schools

Irene Githinji @gitshee

A total of 31,337 Class Eight pupils who sat their KCPE exam this year will join national secondary schools in January.

The government had promised to admit 12,222 candidates who scored 400 marks and above to the 103 national schools.

With 31,337 candidates admitted to national schools, it in effect, means those who scored as low as 350 marks stand a chance to join the category of schools.

Those joining the top-ranked schools include 19 special needs education learners and the top five candidates of either gender from every sub-county who were placed in the national schools on the basis of the choices they made during registration for KCPE exams early this year.

The top two performers Olive Mwea and Rawlings Odhiambo, who scored 453 marks, will join Kenya High School and Alliance High School, respectively.

Absentee candidates

While launching Form One selection exercise at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development yesterday, Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed said the ministry will place 1,032,334 candidates who sat the exam in secondary schools, as part of the government’s 100 per cent transition policy.

The number, however, excludes refugees, adult learners, absentee candidates, private candidates above the age of 18 and inmates. These candidates will, however, be accommodated under different categories, in which some 12,045 places are available for refugees in Kakuma and Dadaab camps.

There are 356 centres with capacity of 11,500 spaces that will cater for adult learners and private candidates above the age of 18, with inmates continuing with their education through the adult education programme in prisons.

Absentee candidates will be given an opportunity to register and take the exam next year.

Amina said this year’s candidates constitute the second batch of students to be admitted to secondary schools under the total transition policy spearheaded by President Uhuru Kenyatta.

The CS assured that the selection was fair and that all candidates had an equal chance of getting selected to their preferred schools based on merit, equity, choice and affirmative action.

“We worked to ensure 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary education to give meaning to free and compulsory basic education,” the CS said.

In summary, 31,337 candidates will join national schools, 128,838 accommodated in 540 extra-county schools, another 148,215 join the 1,030 county schools, 722,318 will be admitted to the 7,085 sub-county secondary schools while 1,626 will join the 35 Special Needs Education institutions.

The CS has since advised candidates to visit the ministry’s website to download their admission letters.

Form One placements for national, extra-county and county schools can also be accessed by texting the candidate’s index number to 20042. Soft and hard copies for each school will be availed to principals and County Directors of Education.

Admission letters

Upon downloading the letter, a candidate must present it to their former school head teachers for authentication. Then the letter and candidate’s birth certificate will further be authenticated by the principal of the admitting school before admission.

All candidates selected to join national, extra-county and county schools will receive admission letters instantaneously, followed by sub county schools placement scheduled for December 6 and 7 respectively.

Amina advised parents to use the next four weeks to make necessary arrangements in readiness for the new academic year.

Reporting dates for Form Ones in all categories of schools is be January 7, 2019 and not later than January 11.

Saying there would be no second selection, the CS said there was no reason for parents to delay their children from reporting to school on the provided dates.

At the same time, she called on Principals and Head Teachers to enhance support services to help young mothers focus on learning and minimise distractions.

She said the “re-entry policy” should guide Principals and Head Teachers to admit, accommodate and support returning students.

She directed education officials in all counties to map out the 2018 KCPE candidates who became mothers in the course of the year and make special arrangements for them to transition to Form One.

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