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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Reveal Form One selection criteria, orders court


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By BENJAMIN MUINDI bmuindi@ke.nationmedia.com
Posted  Saturday, January 14  2012 at  22:30
The High Court has ordered the ministry of Education to make public details of the selection formula used to admit Form One students this year.
The order comes after private school owners sought an injunction to stop the selection process that began on Friday until the formula was clearly understood by all parties concerned. (READ: Bulk of national slots go to public schools)
The schools said the entire selection was “shrouded in mystery, and the criteria used in choosing the candidates to national schools were an enigma”.  
Right to be informed
“Parents and pupils affected by the exercise have a right to be informed and notified in advance the criteria that they will be subjected to and allowed to air their views,” Kenya Private Schools Association Chairman John Mwai said.
The court ruled in favour of the schools, but it did not grant orders to stop the selection process.
“I think it would not be in the public interest to stop the national selection exercise, which has already commenced, when it has not even shown that the criteria will result in injustice,” Judge Kariuki ruled. 
The ministry of Education allocated 3,598 Form One slots in national secondary schools to private primary schools.
The rest – 6,684 – were given to pupils from public primary schools in a method Education minister Sam Ongeri said “promoted equity, access, national and geographical diversity”.
The number of slots in national schools this year were increased to 10,282 from 4,517 last year, following the addition of 30 national schools.
Prof Ongeri added that the slots in the schools had been assigned in a 35:65 ratio to private and public primary schools.
“Private candidates comprised 17 per cent of the KCPE candidature but were assigned 35 per cent of the places in national schools,” he said.
Private schools have expressed their discontent with this formula, saying the ministry failed to inform and notify parents and pupils about it in advance.
“We have a legitimate expectation in demanding that the government should have published the criteria and ironed out anomalies arising therefrom,” Mr Mwai said.
He wants the ministry’s policy quashed on the grounds that it is discriminatory. He says that selection should be based on merit.
But the High Court said that even though quality of education in public schools was heavily compromised, it was unfair to select Form Ones on merit alone as private primary schools would fill the majority of slots in national schools.

6 comments:

  1. Why does the Ministry bother parents to select schools and this is not being observed even in selection to provincial schools. we are disappointed in the work of the two professors whose eyes are on dec 2012 but not the good of the student
    muthoni

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  2. Take a case of Molo District where girls who scored 376 marks and above were the only ones assigned schools with those scoring 376 - 395 (from public schools)being placed in district schools. What "computer" selection is this???

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  3. It is wrong to punish a child in private school just because the parents have sacrificed to take him/her to there. This has encouraged cheating because at the end of the day the parents end up registering the child in a public school.

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  4. the ministry of education probably had good intentions but failed terribly by not appreciating the fact that not all private schools are well equipped and most struggle to merit thus the sole guiding factor shall be merit and capacity

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