Magoha commends teachers for clean KCPE examination

Tuesday, November 19th, 2019 00:00 | By
Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha (right) with his PS Belio Kipsang (left), TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia and Knec chair John Onsati during the release of KCPE exam results at the exams council headquarters in Nairobi, PD/FILE
Education Cabinet secretary George Magoha (right) with his PS Belio Kipsang (left), TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia and Knec chair John Onsati during the release of KCPE exam results at the exams council headquarters in Nairobi, yesterday. PD/TABITHA MBATIA

Public schools posted a sterling performance in the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results released yesterday, even as their private counterparts secured their turf by producing the top candidate. 

Andy Michael Munyiri of Damacrest Schools, Thogoto, Kiambu county, emerged  the best pupil with 440 marks out of a possible 500. He was followed closely by three candidates: Flavian Onyango of Chakol Girls, June Cheptoo Koech of Sang’alo Central (both in Bungoma county) and Sean Michael Ndung’u of Kitengela International School in Kajiado county, who tied at 439 marks. 

However, Munyiri’s 440 marks was a decline from last year’s 453 marks attained by Olive Mwea (Riara School) and Rollings Odhiambo (Kakamega Hill School) who tied at the top. 

Of the three candidates, who tied in the second position with 439 marks in this year’s exam, two were girls from public schools. Others in the top 10 brackets were Delcy Muhani Chelangat, 437, (Makini School), Noela Maswan, 435, (Makini), Kamau Rickwarren Mburu, 435, (Emmanuel Primary), Bill Anunda, 435, (Lakewood School), Wendy Phoebe Odhiambo, 434, (Damacrest), and Michael Odero, 433, (Gilgil Hills Schools). 

Candidate’s abilities

 When he released the results, 18 days after the candidates took the tests, Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha gave the examination a clean bill of health. For the first time in the history of KCPE exam years, Magoha said there were no irregularities recorded and neither was a single fake paper collected in any part of the country. 

Neither did any candidate access any examination paper before the official time.

 “I am very proud that I do not have much to write home about exam malpractices and the results we are releasing reflect each candidate’s abilities. This is evidence that our teachers are doing a wonderful job of preparing candidates,” he said at the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) headquarters in Nairobi. 

But the CS expressed concern over the decline in performance this year, after the top candidate garnered 13 marks less than last year’s top performer. The CS warned what he termed a minority of adults who try to circumvent the systems to aid cheating. 

He said a few individuals—not the candidates—attempted to use unorthodox means to aid cheating in the exam. Only four candidates were disqualified over impersonation. One of the most notable was a case in Nyandarua county where a private centre tried to engage in overt cheating. 

Overall, 10 people, including eight examination officials in three centres in Nyandarua, West Pokot and Garissa counties were arrested over involvement in various exam malpractices. He, however, said action was taken before any cheating could happen. Similarly, he said, none of the examination papers were leaked. 

“It is evident from administration of KCPE examination that traditional forms of cheating have been wiped out. Our vigilant measures have continued to assist us to nip in the bud some of the cases that would have led to cheating,” said the CS. 

It was also a year that saw public school candidates put up a good show against their private school counterparts, with Magoha saying it was proof that Free Primary Education Programme had come of age and teachers are excelling in spite of the higher enrolment. The results show that girls are competing favourably with boys for the top academic honours. 

Improved performance

On subject performance, the CS noted that there was improvement in English, Kiswahili, Kenya Sign Language, Social Studies and Religious Education, with a slight drop being registered in Mathematics and Science compared to last year. Overall, the performance of the candidates was better than last year. 

Like last year, female candidates performed slightly better than their male counterparts in English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language. On the other hand, male candidates performed slightly better than their female counterparts in Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and Religious Education. 

The number of candidates who scored 400 marks and above dropped to 9,770 from 11,559 last year. There was, however,  a rise in the number of candidates scoring between 301 and 400 marks, growing to 243,320 from 223,862 last year. The bulk of the scores were recorded between 201 and 300 marks, totalling 566,886 compared to 576,346 last year, while 262,307 candidates scored between 100 and 200 marks, compared to 235,555 last year. 

Candidates who scored between 1 and 100 marks were 1,173 compared to 2,198 last year. Overall, a total of 1,056,761 candidates sat this year’s exam compared to 1,083,456 in 2018, a drop of 26,695 students. 

Counties with the highest number of underage candidates were Bungoma (1,770), Bomet (1,111) and Kericho (1,144) while Turkana (4,013), Garissa (1,957) and Kilifi (3,716) were the three top counties with the highest cases of candidates above 19 years. In the exam, 543,582 were boys and 539,874 girls, with 18 counties registering more female candidates compared with male candidates. 

Magoha assured that measures have been put place to fulfill the 100 per cent transition policy next year, which means all candidates whose results were announced should expect to be admitted to Form One. The ministry will immediately embark on the secondary school placement exercise of all the candidates. Already, the ministry has developed a watertight criteria to ensure the process is fair, objective, transparent and in keeping with all forms of meritocracy.

 “I will launch the Form One selection exercise on Monday, December 2,” he said, adding that the government has committed Sh8 billion to improve infrastructure in 30 counties, to cater for increased enrolment. To further enhance Free Day Tuition programme, he said the government will from next year put 9,000 Form One students from targeted regions under a full scholarship programme called Elimu Scholarship Programme. 

Briefed President

Teachers Service Commission boss Nancy Macharia said they had recruited additional teachers and hired interns to take charge of the anticipated surge in student population in secondary schools as a result of the 100 per cent transition policy. 

Before releasing the results yesterday afternoon, Magoha briefed President Uhuru Kenyatta on the results at State House, Nairobi, and described the exercise a major success. 

The President commended the ministry and KNEC for conducting the national exams in a transparent and secure environment as well as the team of examiners for ensuring the process was undertaken without a hitch. Candidates are to collect their results from their respective examination centres or by sending a Short Text Message (SMS) containing the candidates index number followed by KCPE to 20076. 

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