State must stop favouring public schools

By Ashford Gikunda

Kenya: As dust settles on debate over skewed Form One admission policy, I feel inclined to weigh in on this emotive issue.

There are confirmed reports that some 58,000 pupils have transferred from private to public schools over skewed policy.

Worse still is the fact that most of these pupils were in classes Seven and Eight. This means that the playground is not fair. Pupils are forced to forgo quality education so that they can be guaranteed a place in Form One.

The Government has created a policy that favours mediocrity over merit. As a result of this bias, more and more pupils will move from private to public schools thus straining the already over-stretched facilities. Consequently, the performance in public schools will keep plummeting.

Short cuts

The quality of education in our country will be compromised as the Government bends the rules to favour pupils in public schools.

I have argued here before that if Westlands, Kathigiri Boarding and Nairobi primary schools can produce top 100 pupils in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations then the Nairobi City Council primary schools can be models of excellence.

Instead of the Government addressing the root cause of dismal performance in her sponsored schools, it is going for shortcuts.

Not too long ago, I read (with a very heavy heart) in the local dailies that a candidate who scored 425 marks out of a possible 500 marks could not secure a place in a national school because she went to a private school.