The National Treasury has released Sh1.5 billion to the Ministry of Education for the development of infrastructure in schools to cater for the upsurge in form one admissions. This revelation was made by the Education Cabinet Secretary, Dr Amina Mohammed, when she appeared before a special session of the National Assembly Education Committee on Thursday this week. Dr Amina told the Committee that the funds were meant to enable schools to put up new structures to accommodate the large numbers of students admitted to form one this year. The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers, KUPPET, had early this month voiced their concerns on the limited infrastructure in high schools to cater for the upsurge. Read more details here:Release funds to put up infrastructure in high schools- Milemba to Education Ministry
The CS, who was accompanied by the Basic Education Principal Secretary (Dr Belio Kipsang) explained that the money will largely benefit small schools with inadequate facilities. “The money we have received from the ministry (of Finance) will target mainly small schools. Schools with up to 1,000 students will receive Sh6 million every year for maintenance and improvement of infrastructure,” Dr Amina said. She added that her ministry will allocate KSh 6,000 to each student for infrastructure in day secondary schools while those in boarding schools will get an allocation of KSh 8,000; this year. According to Amina, the government has pledged to give schools KSh 16 billion to improve and build new infrastructure to support its hundred transition drive.
On the status of form one admissions, she reported that about 700,000 students had been admitted to secondary schools under the National Education Information Management System (NEMIS) by Friday last week, 11th January 2019. Amina told the Tinderet Member of Parliament, Julius Meli, led committee that the Ministry had extended the form one reporting deadline by one week to Friday, 18th January 2019; yesterday. She noted that the extension was meant to enable all students get admission to secondary schools via NEMIS.
Further, Dr Amina promised give a comprehensive report on the state of the admissions by the end of January, 2019; in about two weeks’ time. “The status of Form One admissions as per Friday, January 11, 2019, at national level was 70 percent. The ministry undertakes to compile full details of the admissions at all levels (including Extra County, County and Sub-county) within two weeks,” CS Amina promised.
Kipipiri MP Amos Kimunya said his analysis of national schools placement showed disparities in placement as other regions got more slots than others.
“On average, each region is supposed to get three per cent representation in these national schools, but the data is skewed towards some regions,” Hon Kimunya said. In her response, Dr Amina explained that there was an elaborate selection criterion that informed the apportionment. Amina explained that all the 12,222 candidates who scored 400 marks and above were placed in national schools; this being the main consideration. Other selection criteria applied were to the effect that the top five candidates of each gender from every sub-county school were placed in the National schools.
The figures presented by Amina indicated that 31,337 candidates were selected to join national schools, 128,838 extra county schools, 148,215 county schools, 722,318 sub-county schools and 1,626 to special needs school. By Friday, last week, 309,700 pupils were not in school, based on the Ministry’s statistics. Amina exuded confidence that this number would reduce drastically as the reporting window had been extended.
The candidates were placed based on choice, affirmative action and among other considerations to ensure equity. “All candidates had an equal chance of getting selected to their preferred schools based on merit, equity, choice and affirmative action,” she noted.