KCPE stars with 400 marks to join national schools

Form One students

Form One students take notes during a Geography lesson at Kagumo Boys High school, Nyeri on January 22, 2020. The 100 per cent transition policy has stretched facilities in high schools. 

Photo credit: Joseph Kanyi | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • In the 2020 KCPE tests, some 8,091 pupils scored 400 marks and above, a total of 282,090 had 300 to 399 marks.
  • Prof Magoha said all the 1,179,192 candidates would be admitted to secondary school under the 100 per cent transition policy.

Pupils who scored 400 marks and above in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination will be admitted to national schools, draft Form One selection rules say. 

Top five candidates of either gender in every sub-county will be placed at the national schools of their choice.

The move is meant to ensure equity and fairness.

“This method that has been applied in the last two years. It has ensured equality and is being adjusted ahead of the selection that begins on Friday,” an official at the Ministry of Education told the Sunday Nation

This is among the guidelines a team of technocrats has proposed during a retreat in Naivasha sponsored by the ministry. 

The team will hand the report to Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Tuesday.

In the 2020 KCPE tests, some 8,091 pupils scored 400 marks and above, a total of 282,090 had 300 to 399 marks while 589,027 scored 200 to 299. 

Capacity of national schools

Those with 100 to 199 marks were 299,677. The total KCPE examination score is 500.

Going by the 2020 KCPE results, the points for admission to national and extra county schools may be lowered to accommodate more students.

There 103 national schools, 531 extra county, 1,031 county, 7,325 sub-county and 1,164 private high schools.

Usually, national schools have a capacity of 29,712 students, extra county (123,399), county (142,358), while sub-county schools can accommodate 685,590 learners. 

Private schools have a capacity of 69,880 students.

There are 32 special needs secondary schools with a capacity of 1,453 students.

The selection is normally done digitally from 10 regions across the country.

100 per cent transition

During the release of the 2020 KCPE test results in Nairobi in April, Prof Magoha said all the 1,179,192 candidates would be admitted to secondary school under the 100 per cent transition policy.

He added that the ministry has audited schools to enable them admit new learners.

“To ensure that candidates are placed in schools of their choice – based on performance and available vacancies – the Ministry of Education will employ a water-tight system,” Prof Magoha said.

The team in Naivasha is looking at the available Form One spaces and determine if schools have the necessary infrastructure.

Because of the 100 per cent transition, schools have had to contend with congestion in dormitories and classes.

The coronavirus pandemic has made matters worse, especially in sub-county schools which will admit the bulk of the students.

Boarding schools will be required to provide extra spaces for students to prevent infections.

Admission to national schools

“Most students tend to apply for admission to traditional national schools and get disappointed when they miss the chance,” the official from the ministry added.

Parents are anxious of where their children will be placed, with some contacting principals hoping to secure placement in their schools.

After the selection, students will be required to download the admission letters from National Education Management Information System or Nemis.

Principals were stripped the power to admit Form One students directly two years ago. They now must get authority from the Ministry of Education.

For any transfer to be effected, headteachers are required to upload the child’s details as per the parent’s request and wait for approval from the ministry.

“Approval shall be granted at different levels, depending on the category of the school,” the official told the Sunday Nation.

Approval for national, extra county and county schools will be granted by the ministry’s head office, regional coordinators and county directors of education respectively.

Once transfers are effected, the students will only be required to download the letter from the Nemis website.

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