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Form One selection: Ministry must listen to parents’ cries, set up review mechanisms to ensure justice

The hue and cry over the Form One selection by thousands of parents is one that Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha cannot afford to ignore, neither does it augur well for him to ooze the kind of arrogance he has attempted to in response.

While the good professor has every reason to be firm as a way of avoiding misuse of certain rights and discretions, the manner he is doing it is wrong when you consider the circumstances under which the performances have come.

His bravado and confidence is always admirable but This one does not need this, the children are too innocent to be subjected to that; it would be tantamount to the proverbial “responding to a mosquito bite with a hammer”.

It is difficult to imagine how dozens of thousands of parents and their children can be out of their minds in their claims that the schools they have been selected to were not their preferred choices. They are doing so because they worked hard to achieve the marks they believe earned them the right to join the schools they picked.

Listening to those parents and children is just depressing to any well-meaning Kenyan, especially because they have got the marks to take them to those schools.

Cases of children who scored 420 plus marks failing to get selected to Alliance School, which was their first choice, for example, is unacceptable to say the least and the good CS and his team need to be magnanimous enough to honestly review those cases; if for nothing but to motivate those children and for them to move to the next stage of their life knowing that as long as you work hard, you will get what you deserve.

The ministry must immediately embark on a review of selection complaints for all children who garnered marks above 400 so that everybody feels they have got the justice.

There has to be recourse for parents and children who feel they have not been taken to schools their scoring guarantees them.

Perhaps, this makes a good case for the country to no world have a system that reviews the selection process which not been beyond reproach as the government has tried to suggest.

In all honesty, it has been a sham through which head teachers and other education mercenaries working in cahoots with ministry mandarins have been exploiting desperate parents who want to get selection letters to preferred schools for their children.


Anything short of that review will encourage the “bad manners” that a member of the 10th parliament once told a group of us that we are a country where “you don’t get what you deserve but what you fight for” which is the fuel that has left corruption and other social ills thriving in Kenya.

Professor Magoha and his team must always be reminded of their constant assertion that if a child has worked hard enough to get their marks then government should never mistreat them by denying them the chance to join schools of their choice.

They have worked for it, they have earned it, they deserve it so it isn’t not a favor Jogoo House is doing them.

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