KCPE stars land schools of choice amid Form One selection protests 

Bruce Mackenzie

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha hands Bruce Magata Mackenzie his Alliance High School admission letter during the release of the Form One selection results at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi on April 11, 2022.

Photo credit: Lucy Wanjiru | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Protests emerged after the selection results for KCPE candidates were released yesterday.
  • Prof Magoha warns against interference with the system used to place the learners.

The 14 candidates who topped the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam will join their first choice secondary schools, even as protests emerged after the selection results were released yesterday.

The top candidate, Bruce Mackenzie Magata, who scored 428 marks, will join Alliance High School while runner-up Ashley Kerubo Momanyi will join The Kenya High School. 

The Form One students will report to school on May 3.

“I didn’t know much about secondary schools until when I was in Standard 8 when I heard my teachers say that Alliance is a good school,” Bruce said yesterday.

The top candidate with disability, Christopher Mang’era, will join Thika School for the Blind. He scored 417 marks.

While launching the selection results at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said that the exercise was based on “merit, choice (of school) and merit”.

Affirmative action

He said that the process had been fair and warned against interference with the National Education Management Information System that is used to place the learners.

Prof Magoha added that affirmative action had also been employed in order to uplift learners from poor backgrounds.

“Through this, we managed to place 567 learners to their first choice national schools. A further intervention was done by giving an additional 314 places in national and extra county schools,” he said, giving the example of Kimberly Grace who hails from Mji wa Huruma slums in Nairobi. Kimberly who scored 368 marks will join The Kenya High School.

“I’m happy to be selected to join Kenya High. It was my choice even though I never expected it,” she said yesterday. 

However, it was disappointment for thousands of parents and learners who have been placed in schools that did not meet their expectations. 

One of the candidates who is not happy with her placement is Elizabeth Mutave, who scored 414 marks. She attended Mikululo Primary School, a public institution in Makueni County and hoped to join The Kenya High School. But she has been selected to join Muthale Girls High School, a national school in Kitui County.

Parents' displeasure

“I don't see the reason why we are asked to help learners select schools if the ministry will be placing them in schools they never selected,” a teacher told the Nation.

Many parents also took to social media to voice their displeasure with the selection.

Prof Magoha blamed schools for “misadvising” learners on schools selection. From the data, Nanyuki High School was the most preferred school with 156,003 selections against a capacity of 480 students. Other schools that attracted many candidates included Kabianga High School (149,087), Pangani Girls (118,073), Maseno School (110,811), Nakuru High School (107,915) and Alliance Girls High School.

Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association chairman Kahi Indimuli blamed the clamour for a few top schools on inequality in public schools concerning infrastructure and staffing.

National Parents Association chairman Nicholas Maiyo said welcomed Prof Magoha’s instruction to principals to limit the number of requirements for Form Ones. The CS identified items like exercise books, class readers and novels, photocopying papers and hockey sticks.

The CS said 38,797 students were placed in national schools, 2,045 in special needs schools (which are all categorised as national), 214,960 in extra-county schools and 218,456 others in county schools. Sub-county schools will admit the majority of candidates (726,311) while refugees are 9,128.