Ensure 100pc transition to secondary school

Parents and teachers assist Form One students before admission at Shimo Latewa School in Mombasa on February 6, 2023. [Om,ondi Onyango, Standard]

The much-awaited results of placement to Form One of 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination candidates were released yesterday.

According to Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, all the 1.4 million candidates who sat the final 8-4-4 primary school were placed in secondary schools across the country.

Notably, while some of the students were placed in their dream secondary schools, many others were not. But that should not discourage them. The important thing is to be admitted to a secondary school. As we have witnessed over the years, some students from even the so-called small schools perform exceptionally well. What matters is how hard a student works.

Unfortunately, unlike in previous years, many students might have challenges joining Form One majorly due to financial difficulties. In October, Mr Machogu told MPs that the money provided to schools in the last five years has been on the decline, and that secondary schools were nursing a Sh22 billion funding deficit after receiving Sh65 billion. That translates to Sh16,428 per learner instead of Sh22,240 per learner.

That is partly the reason many secondary schools have been grappling with crippling financial difficulties this year.

“Next year (2024), we project that the enrolment will be 4.2 million learners. If the funding remains as it is, the capitation will reduce to Sh15,476 per learner,” the CS told MPs.

This means parents will have to dig deeper into their pockets to take their children to school. Many parents and guardians have been hit hard by the prevailing hard economic times and might therefore not be able to fund their children's education.

We urge the government to keep the spirit of 100 per cent transition to Form One alive by increasing funding to secondary schools. In May, the government reported that it had achieved nearly 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school. It must not reverse the positive trend despite current economic turbulence. Let's not shatter our children's dreams.