Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said, during the mop-up exercise, that the students will be forcibly escorted to the nearest day secondary schools since the government is determined to achieve its 100 per cent transition policy. Prof Magoha admitted that not all the 1,075,201 KCPE candidates had reported to Form One despite his ministry extending the reporting date by one week.
The transition policy – launched last year – is one of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s legacy projects i education, with the CS saying “it is better to have a child in school under a tree than have him or her loitering at home”. Speaking at State House Girls High School Nairobi Friday during a tour, he said Form One admission was at 850,000 and the figure was expected to hit 920,000 by close of the exercise Friday evening.
“We still have 150,000-200,000 to be mopped up. The prerogative of the government in ensuring all children go to school is well grounded and is doing well,” said Prof Magoha. But those who have decided to repeat Standard Eight and mature learners who decide to join technical and vocational colleges will be exempted.
“There are parents and children who of their own volition decided to repeat. That decision will be respected and we will determine the number of those repeating. There are mature teenagers who want to go to TVET, they too will not be blocked,” stated the CS. On girls who have married instead of joining Form One, he said provincial administrators had been instructed to pull them out of the marriages and escort them to nearby secondary schools. The administrators will also be required to take others to boarding schools to protect them.
“Those pregnant can join school and the government will ensure that they are released to go and deliver and return to school. “Teachers and school heads must enhance support services (to ensure all children are in school),” stated Prof Magoha. He further warned school principals against turning away needy learners, saying such action is illegal and amounts to crime.
Earlier in the week, the CS visited some needy students in informal settlements in Mukuru kwa Njenga and Chokaa areas where he said he came across moving experiences. “In Mukuru, I found a girl who had 403 marks and was supposed to join Precious Blood Kagwe in Lari. They (principals) must accept all the children who have reported,” he said. In the transition rate, the CS announced that Murang’a county had surpassed its target as it was standing at 127 per cent followed by Nyeri at 110 per cent. Nairobi city was at 111 per cent, Vihiga (110 per cent) and Tharaka Nithi 106 per cent.
LOWEST TURN OUT
From bottom, Tana River county had the lowest score at 49 per cent followed by Marsabit with 60 per cent, Samburu was at 61 per cent while Kilifi and West post counties had 68 percent.