Place learners in their schools of choice, selection team told

Kiambu teachers, parents caution against ignoring children’s wishes.

In Summary

• Parents and teachers urge Education CS George Magoha to ensure selection complies with the choices made.

• Juja Preparatory and Senior Schools deputy principal Denis Odero denying children the schools they merit demoralises them. 

Pupils who sat this year's KCPE exam should be allowed to join their schools of choice if they merit.

This is the plea made by Kiambu teachers and parents, who, on Wednesday, told the Education ministry that respecting the choices protects top performers from mental anguish. Preparations for the selection process started on Tuesday, a day after results were released by the Kenya National Examination Council.

Juja Preparatory and Senior Schools deputy principal Denis Odero said denying the pupils the opportunity to join their schools of choice after attaining the required marks will demoralise them and hurt their secondary school performance. Odero spoke as they celebrated their performance. He was accompanied by teachers, parents and pupils who took the tests.

"We request the ministry, through CS George Magoha, that they go as per the learners’ choice of schools. If a pupil selected Alliance High School and has merited by getting marks that make him deserving of the school, then the slot for Alliance be given to that particular child. He should not be taken to another school," Odero said.

Similar sentiments were shared by Wankan Academy headteacher Bernard Ngugi, who said that in the past, children and their parents have been subjected to a distressing experience after missing out on admission to the schools they selected.

Ngugi appealed to Magoha to ensure children from Kiambu who have excelled join national and extra-county schools within the county. Kiambu boasts of national schools such as Alliance Boys, Alliance Girls, Mang’u High, Mary Hill Girls, Limuru Girls and Loreto High. Extra-county schools include Thika Boys, Chania Boys, Chania Girls, St Francis Girls and Kiambu High.

"Sending these pupils to other counties miles away from their homes is traumatising to them and their parents," Ngugi said.

Elsewhere, Leah Wanja, a parent whose son Derrick Ngeru scored 422 marks at Rev Ngoima Memorial School, Thika, pleaded with the ministry to save parents the agony of taking their children to schools far from home.

Of the 47 candidates who sat KCPE exam at Juja Preparatory & Senior Schools, 18 scored 400 marks and above, with 14-year-old Wanjira Mahinda leading the pack with 425. Thirty pupils will join national schools, while nine will join extra-county schools. Six others will join county schools.

Jessica Warigia and Tony Machoka followed closely with 423 marks and 420 marks respectively. The learners want to join Alliance Girls High School and Mang’u High School respectively. Wanjira aspires to be a pilot once she is done with her secondary education, presumably at Alliance Girls. Warigia said she aspires to be a journalist and hopes to work for the United Nations.

Machoka said his dream of becoming a civil engineer. He plans to join the University of Nairobi once he completes his secondary school education. They attributed their success to their faith in God and prayers, hard work and support from their teachers and parents.

“The journey has been tough but with prayers and relentless support from our able teachers and parents, we have made it,” Wanjira said.

(Edited by F'Orieny)

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