KCSE results restore hope in national exams
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam results, in what confirmed the high premium placed on the national exercise.
In Kenya, exams are a matter of life and death. This is because society regards success in education as the only way to a decent life.
Invariably, parents are forced to invest heavily in the education of their children to excel in exams to shepherd them to so-called respectable careers.
Although Magoha said there has been a significant drop in cases of exam cheating, results of some 1,309 students were cancelled for engaging in malpractices.
Again, society stands accused of rewarding individuals who have made it in life through shortcuts. For them, cheating in exams is one of their path to success.
It was, however, reassuring that some cases of impersonation were detected and action taken to preserve the sanctity of exams.
That is why the revelation by Cabinet Secretary that they managed to completely wipe out cartels in the sector previously scarred by exam leaks is welcome.
More heart-warming was the recognition by the minister of those he termed heroes; students who turned out impressive results despite scoring poor marks in their Class Eight exam.
They overcame the many odds in poorly equipped rural schools to obtain university entry grades. They debunked the myth of being slow learners, who deserved no chance in high school.
The other category was that of the 1,672 students with special needs who posted impressive results.
Four from this category scored a mean grade of A- (minus) with 127 scored a Mean Grade of C+ (plus) and above.
The good performance by the two groups of students is a lesson to society that all individuals can perform well despite their circumstances, if given a chance and right environment.
As the minister noted, individual candidates who scored as little as 177 marks ended up scoring top grades in the KCSE is one story of hope and encouragement.
It now a challenge to the government to ensure its 100 per cent transition, a policy to achieve universal education is funded to succeed.
As for those who did not attain university entry grade, it should not be the end of the road as training opportunities abound in vocational institutions.