Ministry eases admissions for 800,000 Form 1 students

Ministry of Education Form One selection.

Authorities have eased school transfers to speed up Form One admissions next week for more than 800,000 students.

The Standard has established that the Ministry of Education has now uploaded all schools to the National Education Information Management System (Nemis), which made it difficult to complete transfer requests.

There are 700,000 vacancies in sub-county schools and about 100,000 in private schools.

Previously, parents whose school transfer requests had been accepted were unable to change Form One placements because the institutions were not available in Education ministry’s portal.

The schools, mostly under sub-county and private categories and a few from extra county and county groups, can now be accessed from the ministry website by parents.

After the launch of Form One selection, candidates were given an opportunity to change to schools they desired as long as vacancies were available.

However, after selection was over, parents were expected to confirm the schools afresh since the sub-county and private schools were initially not available on the ministry’s portal.

A circular released yesterday by Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang to regional directors of education says all schools have been uploaded to Nemis.

The ministry requires parents who had made school transfer requests to download letters from its website ahead of admissions next week.

“Candidates whose change of placement was accepted should go online and click on transfer link in the ministry’s online services for new letters of admission,” said Dr Kipsang.

Parents are required to download the calling letters that will appear on the latest selection list of schools from the ministry’s website. The circular says that candidates will only be admitted to the schools they sought by checking on the ministry website.

The development comes as thousands of parents reportedly got stranded in accessing admission letters after successfully initiating transfers.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha launched Form One selection on December 2 last year and results for placement of students in national, extra county and county schools were released.

This was followed by selection of students to county and sub-county schools, which ended on December 6, 2019. However, sub-county schools have continued to file their selections lists in Nemis.

Reporting dates for all Form One students in all categories of schools is January 13. The last reporting date is January 17.

Kipsang yesterday directed all secondary school principals in both public and private institutions to carry out admissions of learners through Nemis using candidates’ index numbers.

On reporting, the school will be expected to key in the index numbers of the candidates and verify the correct details of the learners fort admission.

Upon downloading the letter, it shall further be verified by the principal of the admitting school.

Principals are advised to confirm that letters presented to them belong to learners strictly in their selection list. Schools can access their selection lists from the Nemis platform.

Parents who were procedurally issued with admission letters from schools must verify details from the website or risk being locked out by Nemis system.

It emerged that some principals issued admission letters to parents even without due approvals through Nemis.

New admission rules require that for a transfer to be effected, the school must declare availability of the vacancy after which parents’ request is uploaded on Nemis.

Sources at the ministry said the move to introduce printing of admission letters on the ministry’s website and the new rule for heads to declare available slots was aimed at ensuring fairness across board.