Puzzle of 26,000 Form One Students Missing in 36 Counties

  • The puzzle of 26,000 Form Ones who are yet to report to school in 36 counties remains unresolved.

    A total of 26,564 students still remain unaccounted for despite the conclusion of the ‘mop-up’ exercise launched by the Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

    In March, 1,179,192 candidates sat for the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam. However, figures released by the Ministry of Education only account for 1,144,701 students.

    Education CS George Magoha addresses the Maseno Graduation class of 2020 on April 30, 2021

    According to Magoha, 1,129,637 students who had been placed in public and private secondary schools had reported to the institutions.

    The ministry accounted for 15,604 learners who did not report giving reasons. Magoha stated that 1,193 of them “either moved away from their homes or are deceased”.

    He also revealed that 2,658 learners opted to repeat Class 8 while 11,213 joined Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) institutions.

    He further explained that prisoners and refugees and prisoners who sat their exams in 100 centres were not placed in the 100 per cent transition policy.

    The ministry still maintains that it managed to account for all 1.76 million students.

    “We have managed to account for 100 per cent of the more than 1.76 million candidates who were selected to join secondary schools,†Magoha stated.

    The CS revealed that while 17 counties recorded 100 per cent transition, 11 others surpassed the mark. He explained that the eleven counties exceeded the number by accepting students from other counties.

    Among the counties that recorded full transition include Mombasa, Kisumu, Bomet, Tharaka-Nithi, Kisii and Samburu. The CS commended counties in the Arid and Semi-Arid Lands for their high transition compared to other well-endowed counties.

    Magoha also urged school heads to come to the aid of some of the students who were out of school because of lacking school fees.

    “When you have a child who is notoriously failing to meet school fees payment, visit their home. You may end up calling for a funds drive to assist some of the children. I have come face to face with poverty as I visited the homes of candidates in my mop-up exercise, especially in the slums,†he told school heads.

    As over 26,000 students still remain out of school, the costs related to having a child in school remain the biggest challenge to the 100 per cent transition. 

    Although the government releases tuition funds to schools, parents are forced to dig deeper into their pockets to purchase school-related materials and boarding fees.

    KCPE students sitting national exams in 2019