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Private schools express fears over Form One selection

Private school owners are appealing to the government to ensure fairness in the forthcoming Form One selections, to give hope to their students who were affected by the standardisation and moderation of last year’s KCPE results.

Members of the Private School Owners Association from Thika, Kiambu County said merit should prevail in the admissions to bring fairness in the education sector.

Led by their Thika branch chairperson Mary Kirika, they said all candidates should get equal chances and that there should be no discrimination.

The members who expressed fury over the standardisation of KCPE said both of them, parents and students felt short-changed by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).

They termed the grading of marks as unfair and skewed to favour learners in public schools, and expressed fear that this may affect the Form One selection exercise.

“Each of us has targets. Students target to join good secondary schools; teachers have pass marks and parents pay high schools fees to have their children pass and achieve life dreams. All these dreams were curtailed by the standardisation,” said Kirika.

They called for a probe into the 2020 KCPE results, saying there were lots of contradictions in the grading of marks that saw private schools perform dismally compared to the public ones.

They said all schools closed and reopened at the same time following the government’s directives and wondered why they were treated unfairly.

“Those in the private sector should not be seen as competitors but as equal players in education, complementing the government in realising its goals,” Ms Kirika said.

A member of the association Francis Kago said all candidates should be treated fairly when it comes to the Form One admissions.

He said parents whose children are in private schools were slowly losing trust in them and if not checked, they might withdraw their children to take them to public schools.

By Muoki Charles

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