The Ministry of Education has cautioned secondary school heads against sending home pupils from poor backgrounds lacking school fees because the practice undermines the government’s policy on school transition.
Principal Secretary, State Department for University Education and Research Ambassador Simon Nabukwesi noted that while the relentless efforts by the Ministry to ensure that there is a 100 per cent transition to Form One for all the candidates who sat the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education were bearing fruit, some school heads’ misplaced actions were reversing the gains.
Nabukwesi was speaking at Kaptembwa chief’s offices where he took the drive to mop up 14 learners from the informal settlement who were yet to report to school and escorted them to school.
He cited the case of a 14-year-old orphan who had been selected to join Solian Girls High School but had been sent away by the school when she failed to raise the required fees.
“Heads of schools should understand and assist students from needy backgrounds. They should be able to provide them with uniform and other basic amenities once a child is admitted instead of sending him or her away.
It is the government’s policy that the learner regardless of his or her social background must be accorded all the support to go all the way to Form Four before joining a tertiary institution,” the PS pointed out.
He directed ministry officials to trace all pupils who sat KCPE in 2020 who are yet to join Form One. The officials are also to follow up on those who are expectant and ensure they continue with learning.
“One hundred per cent transition started by President Uhuru Kenyatta has been very transformative. I want to ask the public to report any cases of pupils who have not reported to respective institutions they were called to,” the PS appealed.
Nabukwesi added that the government was committed to achieving the 100 per cent transition to move the country from lower income to upper income levels and achieving the targets set by the Big 4 agenda.
Success of the 100 per cent transition, he indicated, will help the county realize objectives of Kenya Vision 2030, Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), otherwise known as the Global Goals and African Union Agenda 2063.
The mop up of the learners that initially kicked off in Nakuru Town East and Nakuru Town West Sub-Counties was carried out through a joint operation involving the Ministry of Education and that of Interior.
“These children are willing to be in school for they understand that education is an equalizer and a game changer in their quest for a brighter future. This is demonstrated by the fact that some three counties have already clocked 100 per cent while about 10 others have also achieved over 90 per cent in transition,” he noted
Countrywide he revealed that the exercise has seen overall transition increase by about 10.8 per cent between last year and this year.
According to Ambassador Nabukwesi, several counties have performed exceptionally well in the exercise with Nyeri County blazing the trail with 100 per cent transition while 10 other counties have also clocked over 90 per cent.
“This is an exercise that must continue until all counties register 100 per cent,” said Nabukwesi.
“Among the top performers include Nyeri, Nyamira and Mandera that have registered 100 per cent transition. Kisii, Nyandarua and Wajir have hit between 95 per cent and 99 per cent.
According to records by the ministry, other top performers also include Homa Bay, Kirinyaga, Migori and Kiambu counties that have hit over 90 per cent in transition.
The PS directed all security officials in the 11 counties to begin tracing the whereabouts of the children in their jurisdictions.
By Jane Ngugi and Dennis Rasto