National schools admission to increase as selection ends

Delcy Muhani Chelangat (left) and Noela Jerop of Makini School, Nairobi, celebrate after scoring 437 and 435 marks respectively in KCPE exams, on November 18. [File,Standard]
The more than one million students who sat KCPE will know the secondary schools they will join, this week.

Details of the selection reveal that Ministry of Education will be forced to raise the number of slots to national schools in line with the 100 per cent transition.

The national schools admitted 29,000 students after the selection last year but given the number of candidates that sat KCPE this year, sources reveal that Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha will be forced to increase the admission to the institutions. 

The Ministry is expected to create more than 30,000 slots.

Over the years, only candidates who score 400 marks and above are guaranteed slots in national schools.

Lower entry grade

The selection also targets top candidates per sub county in a move to ensure the slots are shared on merit.

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Due to the increased spaces created in the coveted schools, candidates picked per sub county may also go up.

Overall, given that only 9,770 students attained 400 marks and above this year, more slots will still be up for grabs by the 253,000 students who scored 300 marks and above.

This means they will also scramble for the remaining 20,000 or more slots in national schools.

The battle, however, will be among the 9,770 students for slots in the traditional 18 national schools.

These are Starehe Boys, Starehe Girls, Alliance Boys, Alliance Girls, Lenana School, Kenya High School, MaryHill Girls, Loreto Limuru, Limuru Girls, Mang’u High School, Maseno School, Nairobi School, Moi Forces Academy, Moi Forces Lanet, Nakuru Girls, Utumishi Academy, Moi Girls Eldoret and Nakuru Boys.

It also emerged that the Ministry may lower the national schools entry grade to accommodate some of the candidates who posted 300 marks and above.

Selection of candidates to extra-county schools is based on a 20:40:40 ratio, to be shared across the host sub-county, the host county and other counties, respectively.

The available slots in county schools are shared out between sub-counties on a 20:80 ratio, spread across the host sub-county and the rest of the sub-counties. 

Students for sub-county schools are selected from the host sub-county based on merit and choice. The criteria is applied regardless of whether candidates sat KCPE in private or public schools.

There are also 35 special needs education (SNE) secondary schools with about 1,500 slots, according to ministry data.

Pre-selection for SNEs, Starehe Boys and Starehe Girls, Moi Forces Academy (Nairobi and Lanet), Utumishi Academy and Moi Tea Girls is done separately.

The Sunday Standard established that national schools’ capacity may go up this year as it emerged that the total capacity in secondary schools increased to 1.1 million.

Last year, there were only 1.05 million spaces available in public and private schools.

A status of selection report for 2019 reveals that there were 123,399 spaces in the 531 extra-county schools.

There were also 142,358 slots available across 1,031 county schools.

And in sub-county schools, Ministry data revealed that there were 685,590 spaces across the 7,325 institutions. Sources said the available secondary school spaces have been expanded this year to accommodate more students.

Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said the government and other partners, have set aside Sh8 billion to improve school infrastructure in 110 sub-counties across 30 counties to accommodate more students.

Data compiled by Sunday Standard on students who scored 418 marks and above, give an indication of how schools will share the coveted slots.

For instance, High Peak will send at least 43 students to national schools, as Makini School and Kathigiri B send more than 24. Lions School will send at least 21 students.

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