Early release of KCPE exam results welcome
This year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results were released yesterday, a record 18 days after candidates took the tests. The early release is a pointer to improved organisation, coordination and management of national exams.
To all stakeholders — candidates, ministries of Education, ICT and Interior, Kenya National Examinations Council, teachers, supervisors and others — you deserve a pat on the back for a job well done. The move further boosts efforts to restore credibility of the examinations that had for long been scarred by cheating and other irregularities. The efforts are finally bearing fruit.
As he released the results yesterday, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha assured that the exam was leak-free—that is as it should be.
While the overall performance was commendable with the top candidate scoring 440 marks out of the possible 500, there is concern over the drop in Mathematics and Science, subjects key to innovation and technology. It is critical that the issue is addressed both at the primary and secondary levels.
The other blot on the exams has been the issue of teenage pregnancy, that has seen some candidates write their exam from hospital after delivery. The cases, were fortunately, fewer this year compared to last year, a pointer that the fight to reduce teenage pregnancy is beginning to succeed.
The assurance by the CS that the government has set aside Sh8 billion to improve infrastructure in schools to cater for the 100 per cent transition to secondary school is welcome. He also vowed to personally supervise its utilisation to ensure Kenyans get value for money. Besides the infrastructure, the government will give 9,000 scholarships to needy and bright learners in disadvantaged regions, including those in urban slums.
Hopefully, such measures will go a long way in ensuring access to education by all in line with the Constitution as well as global development goals.
The other welcome news is that with the early release of the exams, placement to secondary school will be done in good time and give parents adequate time to prepare for the enrolment.
In the past, the Form One selection has been marred by cases of corruption and other underhand tactics that have denied some students schools of their choice based on merit.
But again, we hold Magoha to his word that the exercise will be fair.