It’s race against time in tracing learners yet to join Form One
Irene Githinji and KNA
Education officials are racing against time to trace learners who are yet to join Form One, as they are all expected to be in secondary schools by close of business today.
This came as government shifted focus on admitting students from poor background without school uniform and have the issue sorted out later, just to ensure all have an opportunity to continue with their secondary education.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha issued a directive early this week that all learners who are still at home to report to the nearest day secondary school.
“My charge to people still at home is that together with provincial administration, they take the children to the nearest day school, no fees is required there except the uniform. If you do not want to go to a day school, we will take you there,” said the CS.
“And I will go a step further to ask teachers to accept the children without uniform so that we can deal with the uniform issue while they are still at school, let the teachers take the child and we will work that out,” he added.
He warned parents who go against this directive saying they will be arrested for denying their children education.
“Laughing time with parents is now over unless a parent is sick and a child cannot go because they are taking care of them at home…no parent has capacity to say a child cannot go to school,” he said.
“At this point, I cannot accuse teachers because we have no concrete evidence that they have been sending children home for lack of uniform but if there are any, we will tell them to step aside and let other teachers take their position,” the CS added.
He assured the government will pay for those taken to school for the next four years.
He regretted that Nairobi is now the second last in terms of achieving 100 per cent transition to secondary schools saying it is still stuck at 74 per cent together with Turkana and Kwale at 68 per cent.
“Those are the three counties giving us headache,” he said.
He said good progress has been made in North Eastern, which is so far leading in terms of Form One enrollment with 99 per cent transition, with the remaining 1 per cent being majorly from Garissa.
Magoha said the Central region rate now stand at 98 per cent, Nyanza is still stuck at 97 per cent, Western has moved from 84 per cent to 90 per cent and so the mopping will continue until all learners are taken to school.
“Rift Valley, Western and Nyanza have no reason why they have not got to 100 per cent.
We are going to have a strategy for Nairobi, I’m still yet to understand this by end of today, we need to get out of this mess because it is a small area with a high population so they can be traced,” said Magoha.
Other than those from poor backgrounds, the education officials are also expected to trace expectant learners.
University Education Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi speaking in Nakuru said the government was committed to achieving the 100 per cent transition to move the country from lower income to upper income levels and achieving the targets set by the Big 4 agenda.