Some 30,000 candidates who sat 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations were placed in schools they did not select, the Ministry of Education has revealed.
Director for Co-Curricular Activities, Mr Pius Mutisya, said most of the affected candidates limited their choices to either one or two schools instead of the required 11, a situation he said complicated this year’s Form One placement process.
“Our guidelines require that a candidate chooses a maximum of 11 schools s/he prefers, nevertheless most of them settled for only one or two national schools.
We therefore opted to make their placements based on the marks they attained rather than the school choices they made,” said Mr Mutisya.
Speaking when he officially inaugurated the Form One placement in Nakuru County, the Education official also conceded that thousands of candidates who sat the KCPE exams will miss slots in their most preferred national schools because of high demand.
He said that Pangani Girls High School, received 111,817 applications for Form One slots while Alliance Girls High School and Kenya High recorded 84,489 and 49,777 applications respectively. The three national schools have a capacity of 336 each.
Mr Mutisya revealed that schools in Nairobi County received a total of 62,973 requests for Form One slots yet they could only accommodate 23,613, while Mombasa County could only absorb 13,863 candidates against 18,989 applications.
In Kilifi County, out of 34,404 applications, the Ministry could only place 10,493 candidates.
“The Ministry of Education opted to place learners in schools neighbouring their home counties. The selection panel faced a hard time in placing students to some specific schools that had a high demand.
Top candidates have a tendency of selecting very few national schools that do not have the capacity to absorb all of them.
Despite the challenges out of 1,083,456 candidates who sat for KCPE last year, 1,075,201 have been placed in secondary schools,” said Mr Mutisya.
He said there was need for creation and equipping of more national schools across the country to absorb the growing number of candidates.
Mr Mutisya said 33,099 candidates were selected to join national schools based on merit and the order of choice.
“Special needs schools will absorb 77,077, while 188,454 will join County schools,” he added.
Some 184,816 candidates will join extra county schools while 669,145 pupils, have been placed to sub-county schools.
The students are required to report to Form One by January 13, 2020.