Learners from both private and public schools will compete for slots in national schools on a 50:50 basis.
Because the procedure is totally computerized, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has warned that some candidates who may have made poor choices would not be admitted to top schools.
The Ministry of Education, the Kenya National Examinations Council, and the ICT Authority are all involved in the selection process. The results are due next week, giving parents enough time to get their children ready for Form One entrance next month.
As is customary, fierce competition is expected for spots in national institutions with an excellent track record. Last year, nearly all of the candidates had chosen only 15 schools 1,578, 741 times.
A similar scenario is expected, putting thousands of job applicants at a disadvantage.
With 154,524 boys applying, Nanyuki High School was the most popular. With 124,982 points, Pangani Girls’ School was chosen as the most popular girls’ school.
Despite their popularity, the most popular schools can only accommodate roughly 5,570 students. In the 2021 cohort, 11,857 candidates received scores ranging from 400 to 428, with the majority of them aspiring to attend national schools.
Prof Magoha stated, “We shall ensure that all children, especially those in slums and remote places, receive equal, fair, and reasonable treatment.”
In the selection process, the top 10 candidates (five boys and five girls) from every sub-county will be placed in the national schools they selected. There are 290 sub-counties, implying that 2,900 learners from across the country will get their preferred schools.
The vacancies in national schools will also be shared on a 50:50 ratio between learners from private and public schools. Top candidates from slum areas in urban centres are also selected to join national schools through affirmative action.
This means that candidates who performed well but are from areas with a high concentration of top marks will might not be admitted to their first school of choice.
Candidates select 11 schools before they sit their examinations. They pick four national schools – one from each of the four clusters. There are 103 national schools with a capacity to accommodate 36,200 Form One students.
Some, like Starehe Boys’ Centre, Starehe Girls’ Centre, Moi Forces Academy, Nairobi, Moi Forces, Lanet, Utumishi Academy, Nakuru, Utumishi Girls’ Nakuru and Moi Tea Girls’ pre-select their students.
“A student doesn’t have to go to those secondary schools to performance well. There are equally other good schools but without the famous name,” a senior ministry official told the Nation.
For extra-county schools, the ministry uses a 15:35:50 ratio. The host sub-county gets 15 per cent of the vacancies, the county gets 35 per cent while candidates from other regions are allocated 50 per cent. Candidates select three extra-county schools. Last year, over 200,000 learners were placed in this category of schools.
All special needs institutions are categorised as national schools and so admit learners from all over the country.
Candidates also select from two county and two sub-county schools. For county schools, the host sub-county is allocated 20 per cent of the vacancies while 80 per cent will go to other sub-counties.
A majority of candidates will end up in sub-county institutions, which are day schools. Last year, the schools admitted 718, 516 learners out of 1,171,265, translating to 61.4 per cent. Candidates are encouraged to select schools that are easy to commute to and from.
Inmates, the over-age and those from refugee camps will not be included in the selection process. Meanwhile, the academic year scheduled to begin on April 25 will be the shortest since the reorganised school calendar was introduced last year.
The will take just under seven months before learners revert to the regular one next January. The first and second terms will be 10 weeks while the third will have nine weeks.
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