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Form One selection: Learners frustrated over schools’ placement mess

By Shadrack Mitty | June 17th 2021
Students reporting to join Form One at Sinyolo Girls in Kisumu county wait for clearance. [File, Standard]

Hundreds of the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates are confused after they were placed in secondary schools they did not select.

Some of them complained that they have been placed in day secondary schools outside their counties, which contravenes the government’s directive on placing learners in day schools within a commuting distance.

Some parents now want to look for private schools for their children.

Joseph Webbo, a parent in Nairobi whose daughter scored 392 marks and was placed at Moi Girls Nangili in Kakamega, expressed disappointment and termed the process of Form One selection punitive and discriminatory.

His daughter had selected Kenya High, Pangani Girls and Bishop Gatimu Ng’andu for national schools, and picked Mbooni Girls and Precious Blood Riruta as extra-county schools.

“As much as they say the process was computerised, it does not make sense that my daughter has been placed in a school I even don’t know,” he said.

Another parent, Edina Lugallia, whose son scored 334 marks, expected a calling letter from either Moi Forces Academy, Chavakali Boys or Kisii School.

But her son was placed in a school she claims he did not select. “That school was not even among my son’s choices. My son was never called to any of his choices in all the categories,” she said. 

The parents’ sentiments come amidst calls by various stakeholders on government to ensure fairness to the candidates through a second round of selection.

“We are now looking forward to replacements because students will now want to change from one school to the other while others will not join the schools they have been placed into,” said Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) chair, Omboko Milemba.

“Let the government ensure that fairness prevails so that every child gets their deserving chances in their secondary schools of choice.”

Benta Opande, the Kenya Women Teachers’ Association (Kewota) chief executive, wants parents to help their children to readily accept the schools they will be placed in.

“I know parents would want to move their children, but we are encouraging them to support their children in the schools they have been admitted to,” she said.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chair, Kahi Indimuli, said the process of getting a new school is never easy since the application has to go through the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS) for the Education Ministry to authorise any transfer.

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