An uplifting lesson from KCSE results

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 00:00 |
Education CS Prof George Magoha.

The 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results released yesterday are significant in many ways.

One, the tests were conducted in special circumstances as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic which disrupted normal learning. 

After several months of a prolonged holiday which brought with it many challenges, including a spike in teen pregnancies, many parents and education stakeholders were skeptical about the 2020 performance especially because candidates had little time to prepare for the exam.

It was, therefore, refreshing to hear the performance presented a notable improvement from the 2019 exam.

For instance, the number of candidates qualifying for university with a minimum grade C+ rose from 125,746 (18.02 per cent) the previous year to 143,140 (19.03).

Also, the number of candidates scoring plain grade A increased from 627 candidates in 2019 to 893 in 2020, presenting one of the clearest indicators that the students had defied the odds brought about by the pandemic to post improved results.

That was not all. In the latest results, 19 subjects recorded significant improvement in performance compared to 16 the previous year.

To quote Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, the candidates fought their battle with fortitude and resilience and ended it with grace.

The good story is incomplete without mentioning the uplifting performance of candidates who had scored lowly marks in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), only to turn tables in the form four exam with university qualification.

The lesson here is that with hard work and dedication anything is possible. Their performance must serve as a heart-warming lesson to many students who find themselves at the bottom of the ranking order, that all is not lost. They must keep knocking at the door.

Closely related to this is the announcement that the results had created room for all the candidates; those who did not qualify for university have plenty of choices in other tertiary institutions offering a wide array of courses.

To make this a reality, we urge education stakeholders to find ways of informing potential students of these courses, how and when to apply.

There are thousands of young people languishing in the villages for lack of information about existence of these opportunities, and the fact that government offers loans for the same.

Finally, parents must take Magoha’s challenge about the high number of teen pregnancies seriously.

Covid or no Covid, guardians have a cardinal duty to educate their children about dangers of early motherhood while counselling those that have already fallen victim.

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