Ministry team meets to review Form One selection guidelines

Amos Ongwae, a former pupil of St. John's First Baptist Primary School in Likoni constituency, Kwale County who scored 421 marks in this years KCPE is joined by his school mate, teachers and parents in celebrating his performance in the exams. The marks are the highest ever scored by community school whose twenty teachers are paid by Shonda, a UK based charity organization that has helped Kenyan Children access affordable education for the last 25 years. 22/11/.2018 (Gideon Maundu, Standard)

A team of experts from the Ministry of Education is meeting to review Form One selection guidelines that will be used in this year’s admissions to secondary schools.

The Sunday Standard has established that the team, led by director of secondary education Paul Kibet, is analysing the available capacities of each school ahead of the placement.

The team meeting in Naivasha is also calculating the capacity and candidature of each sub-county, which will be useful during the selection and placement of students to national schools.

Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang already said there will be enough Form One slots for all the one million candidates who sat this year’s examination.

Available data shows the total number of spaces available stands at about 1.1 million.

Data from the Ministry shows that there are 29,712 slots in all the 103 national schools.

Another 123,400 spaces are available in the 531 extra county schools and 142,358 slots in the 1,031 county schools.

Sub-county schools – the day schools – have a total capacity of 685,590 slots in all the 7,325 institutions.

The 32 special schools have declared 1,453 available vacancies.

The Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) said they will make available 87,000 slots across all the 1,800 private schools to accommodate more candidates.

Sources familiar with the Naivasha meeting said the team will draw exact capacities, which will inform accurate placement.

National schools

An official, who asked not to be named because he does not speak for the ministry, said the team will also decide whether they will expand the national school bracket to 350 marks.

For the last three years, all candidates who score 400 marks and above are placed in the coveted national schools.

“The team will explore the cutoff point that will completely take up all the 29,000 slots in national schools,” said the official familiar with the details.

Only 12,273 candidates scored 401 marks and above and are guaranteed slots in the coveted schools.

This however leaves some 17,000 slots available in national schools. Candidates who scored 301-400 marks are 228,414.

Insiders said the team may expand the national schools bracket to take in more students who scored quality marks in the 300–400 marks category until the national schools capacity is achieved.

It also emerged that the team may recommend that the sub-county candidature determine how the remaining 17,000 slots are shared.

This would mean that the team must work out accurate sub-county performance and allocate slots to each region based on the candidature strength.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said this year’s selection will be done on December 3.

“The ministry’s relevant departments have put in place all mechanisms to ensure the selection exercise is completed as fast as possible,” said Amina.

She said the selection will be done only once, even as parents called for a chance to revise schools their children will be placed in.

“I want to clearly state that there will be only one selection process. There will be no second selection,” said Amina.

It emerged that the 100 per cent transition informed the one-time selection process because all candidates have been guaranteed space.

Kipsang issued a warning on fees and said the government will make available necessary books and free education money. “The Government will continue to send Sh22,244 per child per year to cater for their education and we caution heads against any additional levies,” said Kipsang.  

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