The Education ministry has put five counties under surveillance for low Form 1 enrolment.
It said 130,000 candidates who sat the KCPE exam are yet to join secondary schools, despite a drive to achieve a 100 per cent transition.
The worst-hit counties are Mombasa, Kwale, Samburu, Tana River and Isiolo. They have posted less than 70 per cent admission against a national average of 87 per cent.
Education CS Amina Mohamed on Friday blamed poverty, insecurity, teen pregnancies and backward cultural practices such as early marriages for the region’s low enrolment.
Amina spoke in Nairobi during the launch of the Last Mile Form 1 Admission Campaign. It seeks 100 per cent transition. This will now be impossible with some having repeated Standard 8.
The campaign will entail equipping chiefs and sub-chiefs with the names of students to find out their whereabouts.
Some 1,036,020 pupils sat the exam. Of this, 640 have repeated Standard 8 and another 2,299 join vocational training.
The remaining 895,997 students have taken up Form 1 slots, with Murang’a posting the highest transition rate at 97 per cent.
Amina said the five counties have been put under intensive surveillance to ensure they track and place all 2018 candidates in Form 1.
“This low enrolment is unacceptable at this point in the transition process. These special counties will, therefore, be under the ministry’s first intensive focus,” she said.
“We have prepared a data packet bearing the actual names and locations of these candidates, with an aim of personalising this last-mile project right to the individuals.”
The ministry directed its officials to track those affected by teen pregnancies and ensure they join secondary schools. It seeks to ensure a zero dropout rate of schoolgirls who become pregnant.
“This data is now available and special focus will be paid to these young mothers,” Amina said.