Some parents are yet to take their children to secondary schools citing lack of finances to buy uniforms and pay fees
By Albert Lemomo
Pastoralist counties like Kajiado are lagging behind in transition rates from primary to secondary schools, says Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.
The transition rate in Kajiado County currently stands at 68 per cent compared to Muranga County, which has already surpassed the 100 per cent transition rate. The CS is however confident that the ministry will achieve the 100 per cent target by the end of January.
The CS was in Kajiado where he led education and administrative officials in searching for pupils who sat for their KCPE examinations last year but are yet to join secondary school.
“I have seen that in Kajiado County, the transition rate is at 68 per cent, indicating that there are still many students who have yet to report to school,” said Magoha. “We have much work to do in this county as well as Narok, Samburu and Turkana, to ensure that we fetch all these students from their homes and that they join secondary schools, since secondary education is free to all children of this nation.”
While noting some parents are yet to take their children to secondary schools citing lack of finances to buy uniforms and pay fees, Magoha directed that all students be taken to school even with their primary school uniforms as issues of finances “will be addressed later”.
He decried the fact that some members of the public are yet to understand government policy, which directed all principals to ensure that they admit all children, even those who turn up without boxes, uniforms, or school fees, “because the most important part is to ensure that the children have access to education.”
Schools, he noted, are not private entities owned by principals. “Their work is to provide managerial attributes as well as ensure that all policies are followed to the letter,” added Magoha.
During the exercise that took place in Kajiado Central, Magoha identified six pupils —five girls and a boy —who were yet to join secondary school. Two of the girls were enrolled in Sajiloni Girls Secondary School, while the other three joined Ilbissil Girls Secondary School. The boy was taken to Olkejuado High School.
Magoha directed national administrative officials to ensure that all children are admitted to secondary schools.
“Chiefs should identify all these children and ensure they are taken to secondary schools are within their proximity. As a ministry, we will increase secondary schools in this area to accommodate those that don’t have the financial muscle to take their children to schools outside Kajiado,” added Magoha.
He revealed that 700,000 out of a million students who had sat their KCPE exams last year had joined secondary schools. The remaining 300,000 students could either have repeated Class Eight or joined schools other than those they were admitted to. The rest have joined vocational and technical colleges.
The CS also asked school principals to continue registering the students under the NEMIS programme despite the challenges currently being experienced.
“Indeed, we have had challenges with the NEMIS system, including the network in some certain parts of the country, which has slowed down the exercise of registering the students. We are working round the clock to ensure the system continues to function,” he said, adding that more than 400,000 students have been registered on the portal.
He added that a more efficient system will be designed once the registration exercise is complete.