Ensuring Fairness in Form 1 Selection: A Plea from Private Schools

The eagerly awaited Form 1 selection process is drawing near, prompting private school heads in Kiambu to implore the Ministry of Education to prioritize fairness and transparency. Led by Kuta Amboko, the esteemed school head at Westridge School in Thika, they held a press conference where concerns were raised about past instances of discrimination, a critical issue that has significantly impacted learners from private institutions.

Emphasizing the importance of basing the selection process on the recently announced results of KCPE 2023, Amboko urged the Ministry to take into account students’ choices. He voiced his belief that denying students, despite achieving the required marks, the opportunity to join their preferred secondary schools might demoralize them and negatively impact their academic performance.

Private schools are not only vociferously voicing their concerns but are also echoing a broader demand for justice as the 8-4-4 education system reaches its conclusion and transitions into the Competency-Based Curriculum. Francis Njenga, the Headmaster at Juja Preparatory School, emphasizes an imperative: fairness and justice must prevail, and all learners, irrespective of their school background, should receive equal treatment.

Echoing this sentiment, Rosemary Wanjiru, a school manager, underlined the entitlement of every student to equal opportunities. She emphasized that our children collectively are deserving and should be granted admission based on their merit into their preferred schools.

Lucy Nyambura, a parent from Gakarara village in Kandara constituency, passionately advocates for the fair allocation of school slots within her region. She highlights the challenges that many parents face, particularly concerning transportation costs to distant schools. Expressing this pressing issue with clarity and urgency, she recommends to Ministry officials: “Facilitate student placements in more geographically accessible institutions.”

These stakeholders underscore the broader societal impact of the selection process through their expressed sentiments. The process not only charts a student’s academic journey but also significantly shapes community dynamics. In embarking on this critical task, the Ministry of Education must heed calls for fairness, transparency, and consideration of students’ choices to guarantee an equitable transition into secondary education for everyone.

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