At least 50,000 Standard Eight leavers who missed Form One places last year will get slots this year, the Government has said.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said there were more than 50,000 extra places in secondary schools, which the Government plans to allocate students who sat their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam last year and want to take advantage of the free secondary school education programme.
“We had 1,056,000 places and only 993,000 students. Every child who sat for KCPE this year has been placed in a secondary school,” said Dr Kipsang.
He encouraged those still at home to take advantage of the extra slots to join secondary school in January.
Kipsang said in this fiscal year, the Government would use Sh200 million to expand infrastructure in 7,800 secondary schools across the country in anticipation of an increased number of students.
He said this was part of the Government's plan to sustain the 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school.
Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Nancy Macharia said the commission had asked Treasury for funds to hire 12,696 secondary school teachers every year for the next five years to handle the influx of students due to free education.
“In order to ensure 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary, we will put much more emphasis on staffing secondary schools, especially day schools,” she said.
Addressing primary school heads in Mombasa County, Kipsang said the State would buy three textbooks for all two million Standard Seven and Eight pupils in public schools.
“In the secondary schools quality improvement programme to be rolled out next year, all Standard Seven and Eight students will get mathematics, English and science textbooks,” he said.
The Government will also provide English, mathematics and Kiswahili textbooks for all pupils in lower classes (Standard One to three), he added.
“Public schools reclaim their place as the centres of excellence they used to be. We are happy that the pupil who came second in this year’s KCPE exam came from a public school,” he said.
This year, the number of pupils who attained 400 marks and above increased to 9,000 compared to 5,000 last year. Those who got less than 100 fell from 600 to 200.