How to choose a secondary school for your child

How do you decide a on a secondary school for your child? The Kenyan education system has private schools (academies) and public schools. Like most things in life, having ‘money’ gives you more options…you can even decide to ditch the 8.4.4 system and go for the IGCSE curriculum.

Those in public schools, the class 8 candidates are required to select schools (National school, County school and District school) they wish to join for their secondary education. This is a great time to begin a discussion with your child on where he/she would like to go for high school education.

Once the K.C.P.E results are announced and your child has excelled, it is somewhat easy to transition to a secondary school as the Ministry of education coordinates the form one selection, and later the schools send invitation letters to the students. As a parent, assuming your child has got a good grade you can relax and wait for the school selection.

The performance of the student in KCPE and the funds you have as a parent to cater for school fees.
Money is a major issue…so as a parent you need to set aside money in advance to cater for your child. Sometimes your child can even be called to a national school because you cannot afford, you end up sending him /her to the county or district school.

Otherwise you have to go through the list:
–          Are you going for the  public or private school
–          Distance from your residence (sometimes you want your kid near you J)
–          Performance of the school in previous years
–          School reputation
– School education facilities like libraries and laboratory
–          Subject choices -syllabus offered – business/ agriculture/ foreign languages/ home science / motor mechanic /art and design/ computer
–          Freedom to practice religious belief
–          Parents involvement in the school management
– Health of your child eg. if your child has a disability or terminal illness, you may be forced to pick a school with the right facilities to cater for her needs.
House keeping
–          Meals
–          Hygiene and cleanliness. Who is responsible for the cleaning, how are the toilets, do we have power in the toilets at night, if it rains….
–          Water supply – will the students be going to the nearest stream to fetch water or wash school uniform?

Extra-curriculum activities

–          Playing ground
–          Halls
–          Music instruments

External factors

–          Neighborhood (Urban setting / rural setting)

–          Environment and weather – How cold or how hot does get in the year?

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