Private schools want ministry to post pupils in their junior section

Private school directors during a conference in Mombasa. [Omondi Onyango, Standard]

Private schools want the government to place students in their junior secondary schools from next year.

Kenya Private Schools Association secondary sub-committee chairman Benson Mutua said the Education ministry should use the same method the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service uses in selection.

Speaking in Mombasa, Mr Mutua said the move will stop discrimination against private schools that supplement government education programmes and provide quality education.

He asked the ministry to include private schools in the selection team for Grade Seven students.

Mr Mutua said since private schools have enough space, the government should allow them to play host and ease congestion in public secondary schools.

“The government should use private schools to help in the 100 per cent transition from primary schools to junior secondary.” Mr Mutua said most private schools are cheaper than public schools and the government should consider placing those who cannot go far away from their homes in good nearby private schools.

He said capitation for students in public schools should be conducted for students placed in private schools. Mr Mutua said the government can use the Nemis numbers of government-sponsored students selected to join private junior secondary so that parents can only top up.

“This is the best alternative for students from poor families who cannot afford to go to far-flung areas.”

KPSA national chairman Charles Ochome said the association is already in talks with the ministry over the matter.

He thanked Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha for making it easy for owners of private schools who want to register for junior secondary schools.

“We are going to build as many junior secondary schools as possible to help the government meet its objective,” he said. Mr Ochome advised private school owners to ensure they have permanent buildings to enable them fulfill the requirements of schools that want to be registered for junior secondary schools.

He discouraged members from building schools using iron sheets as this was not friendly to children during hot weather.

During the meeting, the members pleaded with the government to allow their schools to retain their students who are in Grade Six to transition to Grade Seven junior secondary schools they have put up.

Among those who attended the AGM included KPSA new officials led by secretary Resebella Ojiambo, treasurer Stephen Kisili, and vice secretary Rukiya Omar.

Mr Ochome cautioned the members against conducting tuition during holidays, saying children should be allowed to rest.