Parents protest 'unfair' Form One placement

Brian Maina with his mother Hellen Mukami. The boy, who sat KCPE in Kiambu, has been called to a school in Kisumu. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

Some parents have protested against what they claim was unfair Form One placement.

This comes amid revelations that some students have been placed in day schools hundreds of kilometres away from their homes.

Some parents also say their children were called to schools they never selected.

In one such case, a pupil who sat the KCPE examination in Coast has been admitted to a day secondary school in Western region.

A parent from Mombasa said his child, who scored 347 marks, was selected to join a school in Vihiga County, which was not among those she had chosen.

“If it was a boarding school perhaps we could consider it. But a day school in Vihiga where we do not even have relatives is out of question. Where will my daughter stay?” said the father.

Celine Alali, a parent in western Kenya, said her daughter has been selected to join Lamu Day School.

Another parent in Uasin Gishu said her child who sat the examination in Eldoret has been placed in a day school in Nakuru.

But Basic Education PS Julius Jwan explained that the mishap may have been occasioned by poor recording of school codes.

“These are isolated cases and perhaps the codes were not properly captured. If these parents visit our sub-county offices they will be assisted,” he said.

He, however, blamed poor choice of schools for some of the issues the parents are complaining about.

‘‘Sometimes a child may select big schools only and end up not getting any of the them. We have to take you to any school instead of leaving you with no school so long as it’s not too far away from where the child did the exams,’’ said Dr Jwan.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has assured parents that the process would be fair to all.

“We shall ensure that all Kenyan children are given equal, fair and just treatment including those children in the slums and those in far flung arid an semi-arid areas, where we have always had affirmative action,” he said during the launch of the Form One selection.

Hellen Mukami, a parent, complained that her son who scored 301 marks at the White Collar Primary School in Gachie, Kiambu County, has been placed in Ndiru Secondary School in Kisumu County.

Ms Mukami said the school was not among the pupil’s choices.

“Kisumu is very far. This is not fair. The system should not discriminate against private schools,’’ she said.