Only 17,000 out of 21,000 candidates from Kajiado County who sat for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination this year have joined form one.
Subsequently, area County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha warned parents who are still retaining their children at home instead of taking them to school that they will be arrested and prosecuted.
Addressing the press at his office after chairing a meeting with Ministry of Education officials, Nkanatha noted that they have all the details of pupils who have not yet reported to school and from Tuesday next week, they will commence a mop up exercise to trace them.
The County Commissioner urged parents to ensure that their children are enrolled in school by next week to avoid being arrested.
He emphasised that any parent hiding, or not letting the government know where their child is, will have a case to answer, adding that the Ministry of Education has the bio data of every student who sat for the exams last year.
Nkanatha revealed that all school heads have been directed not to send back any form one pupil home for lack of school fees.
“No student will be sent home because of lack of uniforms, books or fees because the government will handle that later. Allow all the students to register and start their classes,” said Nkanatha.
The County Commissioner emphasized that the government was committed to attaining 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school and directed chiefs to work with Nyumba Kumi elders to trace the missing candidates and ensure they report to school.
“We shall use the National government administration and the police in the search of students who are still at home in the villages and take them to schools they were called to join,” said Nkanatha.
County Director of Education Luka Kangogo said some of the reasons the candidates had not yet joined form one included lack of school fees, negligence by parents to take them to school and early pregnancies. Kangogo said no pupil should remain at home for lack of school fees or any other reason.
He called on parents who may be having any other excuse for not enrolling their children to secondary school to report to their offices.
The director said every child has a right to basic education regardless of the circumstances and the Ministry of Education will ensure that this is achieved.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha on August 23, directed Ministry officials to trace all the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates 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.
Prof. Magoha said President Uhuru Kenyatta’s directive on 100 per cent transition to secondary school must be followed strictly.
By Rop Janet