More than 300,000 pupils who sat the Standard Eight examination last year have not taken up their Form One places, dealing a huge blow to the government’s objective 100 percent transition target.
Though the figure is based on the admission numbers by the end of last week and is likely to go up after the reporting deadline was extended by a week, it signifies that transition from primary to secondary school remains a major challenge.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed told the National Assembly’s Committee on Education yesterday that 309,700 pupils are not in school.
By close of business last Friday, she said, 70 percent of the 1,032,334 students had reported to school. Last year’s transition rate was 83.93 percent of 942,021 candidates.
The government introduced the universal transition programme last year, hoping to have all learners achieve basic education.
It has doubled capitation to students in secondary schools to Sh22,244 per student in public schools, raising the allocation to about Sh32 billion.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has recruited 8,672 teachers to support the transition drive, but it still requires 40,000 more.
The government has also promised to give schools Sh16 billion to improve infrastructure.
Meanwhile, Ms Mohamed confirmed that Treasury has released Sh1.5 billion for the development of infrastructure in schools. She said the money will help schools deal with the high enrolment.