This year Only 141 candidates managed a mean grade of A-plain in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination, a shocking drop from 2,636 candidates who attained the grade last year ( 2015).
Releasing the results at Shimo la Tewa High School in Mombasa on Thursday, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i had even more shocking news – that only 88,928 candidates attained C-plus and above in the 2016 examination.
This number compares with 169492 candidates who managed the grades of C plus and above in 2015.
The shock results could be symptomatic of the culture of examination cheating and leakages that has clouded national examinations in successive years.
Dr Matiang’i also said no results were cancelled in this year’s examinations.
The results of 5,000 candidates were cancelled last year because of irregularities.
The number of the candidates who managed straight A’s during this year’s examination was much lower than the ones scored by candidates from some top schools in the previous year.
For instance, schools which managed over 141 straight A’s during the 2015 KCSE examination included Moi High School Kabarak (202) and Alliance High School (200) among others.
Dr Matiang’i captured the extent of the drop in performance when he stated that some schools which previously managed 196 straight A’s could hardly manage fifteen this year.
“Last year, schools which produced 196 straight As could not produce 15,” he noted.
He however singled out Alliance Girls High School and Kenya High School for posting “honest and consistent” results every year.
Kenya High School managed 21 straight As this year, compared to 20 last year, Dr Matiang’i noted.
The mood had been captured much earlier by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) when he stated: “The letter is very good and I can remember during my time, I only managed one A, only kamoja (one). The boy who got an A in my class, I can still remember him forty years later so this nonsense of everybody getting an A, please come out of it.”
President Kenyatta had also spoken about the significant drop when he received a comprehensive report of the results from Dr Matiang’i ahead of their official release.
President Kenyatta however maintained that notwithstanding the drop in performance, the results by and large indicated a normal performance curve, a clear indication that both the examination marking and final results are credible.
The drop in performance comes barely a month after Prof Magoha the Kenya warned that there will be a drop in the number of As posted during the examination as compared to previous years.
Speaking in Kisumu last month, he warned that the number of students who get the grade will reduce because of tighter quality controls.
This he said would be a result of tighter monitoring and supervision of the 2016 examination.
"The reason why you have seen a lot of Government involvement is because we have gotten into a stage where
Kenyan examination papers are being questioned elsewhere and holders even re-examined elsewhere. That is to say that our certificates papers are about to become worthless," he revealed.
He added that in any population, the 'A materials' fall between five and 10 per cent, and therefore Kenya being a normal country cannot keep producing so many A's that surpass what would be in a normal distribution curve.
"Anything outside that bracket (of 5-10 per cent) is suspicious or extraordinary and for a school to have 96.6 per cent scoring A, then that is stupidity of the highest level and nobody should be associated with such," he stated.
Speaking after receiving the report from Dr Matiang’i yesterday, President Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Education to put in place effective plans to institutionalise the ongoing reforms in the sector to ensure sustainability and entrenchment.
He emphasised that there was no room for sliding back on the ongoing reforms, saying no effort should be spared in ensuring the Ministry moves to the next parts of the sector to safeguard proper utilisation of exchequer resources, eradicate wastage and bureaucratic inertia that often lead to failure in the achievement of set targets.
Source: Daily Nation