County schools to admit 63pc of candidates in free learning plan

A teacher clears candidates to enter a KCPE examination centre. file photo | nmg
A teacher clears candidates to enter a KCPE examination centre. file photo | nmg 

County and sub-county secondary schools will admit the bulk of Form One students as the government rolls out the free day secondary school in January.

Education secretary Fred Matiang’i said 647,800 students, representing about 63 per cent of the admissions will join these schools.

This comes amid plans to hire more than 50, 000 teachers over the next four years

Dr Matiang’i said 10,738 candidates, a majority of whom scored 400 marks and above, have been placed in national schools.

Some 9,848 candidates scored more than 400 marks in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.

The ministry announced that all the 993,718 candidates who sat this year’s KCPE are expected to join Form One.

This marks a 25 per cent rise over the 790,680 students admitted to secondary schools last year, meaning extra streams and additional teachers will be needed for the increased enrolment.

Dr Matiang’i says the budget will be reviewed to hire more teachers, putting pressure on the wage bill given that the tutors take the biggest chunk of civil service salaries.

“Additionally, the top five candidates of either gender from every sub-county have been placed in national schools on the basis of the choices they made during registration for KCPE where possible,” said the minister.

Extra county schools will admit 123,399 students while 69,880 others will be enrolled in private ones.

“We have enough capacity. We suspect because of free secondary education we will have a backlog.  There could be those who missed Form One last year and would want to enrol this year,” Dr Matiang’i said.

To ensure the success of the students’ mass enrolment, the ministry has used Sh6.4 billion to construct 2,740 classrooms, 349 laboratories and 326 sanitation blocks in 2,710 regular and 30 special needs secondary schools.