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Mixed reactions over new format in Form One selection

A section of parents have sent mixed reactions in regard to the new online Form One selection criteria.

According to some parents,National Education Management and Information System (NEMIS) is proving hard to access especially for parents living in the far flung rural areas where internet is hard to come by.

They also complain that the process of downloading some important required data is quite expensive in the cyber cafes for those without smart phones.

“The new online system while commendable has come with its fair share of challenges especially for those without access to internet services. Some of us are not acquainted on how to go about the process, a matter which I believe should have been addressed before this process was rolled out,” said Loise Wavinya whose son was supposed to report to Mbooni Boys High school in Makueni county by Monday.

By the time of the interview, Wavinya was still stranded at the Machakos bus park as she was yet to figure out the location of the school her son had been admitted to.

She also said she was disappointed with the new selection criteria since her son had been denied a place in all the schools he had chosen.

Her sentiments were echoed by Catherine Kituku who blamed the Ministry of Education for what she claimed was switching to a new system whose challenges had not been well thought out.

Kituku says the fact that majority of students had missed out on the schools of their choice is a testament that much needs to be done to streamline the online registration and admission process.

“My son has been admitted to a school he never selected in the first place. I feel the marks he got in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education are not worthy of the school he has been admitted to .He deserved a better institution,” lamented Kituku.

She is now urging the government to do something in streamlining the selection process and ensure students are admitted to the schools of their choice.
The new web-based online system was unveiled in 2018 by former Education Cabinet Secretary Dr. Fred Matiang’i following a successful piloting in 600 institutions out of the 120,000 centers in the country.

The NEMIS platform was deployed to aid digital registration of all primary and secondary school students.

The smart tracking system produces a Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) for registered students that will monitor their performance from primary school, high school and tertiary levels.

Field officers were also told to ensure 100 percent transition of pupils from primary to secondary school.

Slightly over one million children sat for their KCPE exams in November 2018.

By Samuel Maina/Winnie Kavita

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