More queries as 486,000 pupils yet to report to secondary schools

Education cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu address the press on February 15,2023 at Kenya school for TVET. [Collins Kweyu,Standard]

Some 300,000 Grade Seven learners who were expected to pioneer junior secondary are yet to be accounted for, three weeks after schools opened for Term One.

Another 186,000 who sat KCPE and were expected to join Form One are yet to report to their respective schools of admission.

This brings to nearly half a million, the number of children whose whereabouts are yet to be established under the governments’ 100 per cent transition policy.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu said only 900, 000 learners had joined JSS out of the 1.2 million who sat the Grade Six Assessment last year.

‘‘We did the assessment on Monday, and the number that has register in our junior secondary schools is not good as it should be. The number supposed to be enrolled in junior secondary is 1.2 million,” Machogu said.

‘‘So far, we have registered about 900,000 and about 300,000 of our students have not registered in any of the schools.’’

This raises questions on the extent to which parents and teachers have colluded in the emerging transfer racket where some students are registered to sit for the Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) examination.

Machogu and Basic education PS Belio Kipsang, however, put a brave face and exuded confidence that all candidates illegally transferred will be smoked out by the National Education Management Information System (NEMIS).

‘‘The learners under the 8-4-4 system, are registered and issued with NEMIS numbers which capture their information as they progress. Those learners who were in Standard Seven last year are captured,’’ Machogu said.

He added: ‘‘Any parent transferring a child to another school with the intention of registering for Standard Eight will not be accepted.’’

Speaking at Alliance High School on Wednesday, the PS said some students had changed from feeder school to those which had enough numbers.

‘‘As we consolidate numbers, I know we’ve those who have moved from one school to another. As we put up our numbers by today, we should have consolidated and know those who have moved,’’ Kipsang said.

Initial stage

The CS urged parents to allow children to go through the normal process since they have learnt a different curriculum from the initial stage.

Machogu said the government will engage multi- agency approach with the help of chiefs and their assistants under the ministry of Interior to mop up to ensure each child gets to school.

The CS further said, the admission of learners into Form One has been extended to ensure more enrolment to secondary school is achieved.

‘‘We had set the reporting date until February 13, but we extended a few more days so that the numbers of Form One is addressed,’’ CS said.

Kipsang observed that the number of students who sat for KCPE included those at prisons and as private candidates who do not necessarily have to join Form One. This emerged as the Ministry of Education accused parents and schools of colluding to enrol learners for Standard Eight exams instead of Grade Seven.

However, Machogu said that although the state doesn’t have data on that, it will not be possible to falsify the school records. The CS was responding to revelations contained in a circular issued by PS Kipsang dated February 8, which was sent to Regional and District Directors of Education.

The circular warned of the tricks employed by parents and teachers to illegally transfer learners from one school to the other with the intention of registering them for KCPE.