36 percent of learners in Kajiado yet to join Form One

Isinya Day Secondary School

Kajiado East MP Kakuta Maimai addressing parents and students at Isinya Day Secondary School on February 23, 2024.

Photo credit: Stanley Ngotho | Nation Media Group

Despite the Ministry of Education's directive on a 100 per cent transition to secondary schools, a large number of 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates are yet to join Form One due to lack of school fees.

Recently, the Ministry of Education said that only 64 per cent of learners in Kajiado who sat KCPE last year have reported to secondary schools, prompting a launch of a mop-up exercise of the missing over 10,000 learners by education stakeholders. However, parents say the exercise is not bearing fruit.

Speaking in Kitengela during the launch of the Sh18 million Kajiado East National Government Constituency Development Fund (NG-CDF), parents narrated the hardships they faced in getting their children into secondary schools.

They said children whose parents cannot raise school fees are not being admitted to the respective schools they were admitted to. 

"I am an elder from Enkare area, I have identified children who are yet to report to school but there is not much I can do. I have reported the matter to the relevant authorities but what is needed is school fees and other necessities which are not forthcoming," said Ms Esther Tima.

The locals, who normally rely on livestock for their livelihood, say the loss of cattle in the recent drought has left them helpless.

"We pastoralists have been hit hard by the economic downturn because we have already lost our source of livelihood. There is pasture, but we have no livestock and life has become too hard. We are willing to support our children's education but we have no resources," said Ms Elizabeth Mutunkei.

Kajiado residents say the high cost of living has made it impossible to afford school fees.

The dire situation was underscored by the number of parents who turned up with their out-of-school children to benefit from bursaries. The harsh reality that a child must have a secondary school admission number to benefit from the kitty has further shattered the hopes of needy learners.

Kajiado East MP Kakuta Maimai says the parents' woes have been compounded by the national government's delay in disbursing NG-CDF funds.

The legislator further lamented that the national government has only spent 30 per cent of the NG-CDF allocation, leaving beneficiaries at crossroads.

"As legislators, we will continue to work for the welfare of those who elected us. We recently protested the delay in the disbursement of the NG-CDF because our people are suffering," said Mr Kakuta.

Prioritising the construction of day secondary schools is one of the measures Kakuta says the constituency has considered in a bid to accommodate the increasing cases of needy learners.

"The construction of day secondary schools is a priority because we want to create a sustainable education system that will ensure that the needy are not locked out of schools due to financial constraints," Mr Kakuta said.

Kajiado East Constituency has allocated Sh56 million for bursaries in the last one and a half years and has built at least five day secondary schools.