Candidates who sat for the delayed 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination due to the Covid-19 pandemic have registered an improvement in the overall performance compared to 2019.
Ministry of Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof. George Magoha, said that although the mark of the highest candidate dropped from 440 previously to 433 in 2020, the mean average performance and quality of grades for all candidates is higher.
Speaking on Thursday, at the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Headquarters while releasing the results, Magoha said that whereas 1,393 candidates scored between 01 and 99 marks in the 2019 KCPE, the number went down to only 307 in the 2020 KCPE an indicator that most candidates scored better grades than the previous year.
“In particular, I am impressed that public schools have shone in the 2020 KCPE, scooping 10 of the top 15 overall slots in the examination. Additionally, of the top 15 places, female candidates have taken eight places, including the first three overall slots,” said Magoha.
Magoha announced that Mumo Faith Kawee from Kari-Mwailu primary school emerged as the best student scoring 433 marks followed by Wesonga Yvette Nanzala 432, Angel Murithi 432 and Wanyonyi Samuel Makhanu 431.
“I am happy to announce that five papers recorded an improvement in performance in the year 2020 when compared to 2019. These are English Composition, Kiswahili Lugha, Kenyan Sign Language Objective, Mathematics and Religious Education,” said the CS.
However, Magoha noted that five other papers that is English Language, Kiswahili Insha, Kenyan Sign Language Composition, Science and Social Studies, recorded a drop in performance in the year 2020 when compared 2019.
“In terms of gender, female candidates performed slightly better than their male counterparts in English, Kiswahili and Kenyan Sign Language. Male candidates performed slightly better than their female counterparts in Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and Religious Education. I wish to commend all the teachers, parents and candidates for this good performance achieved during a very difficult period,” said Magoha.
The CS said that his Ministry remains committed to assisting learners with special needs to do well in their studies, saying that the number of candidates with Special Needs was higher in the year 2020 (2,675) when compared to that of 2019 (2,407).
“The categories with the highest number of candidates with special needs in the 2020 KCPE examination were those with physical disabilities (1,201), followed by those with hearing impairment (738). The highest Special Needs Education (SNE) candidate scored 420 marks compared with the top candidate who scored 414 marks in 2019 KCPE out of the possible 500 marks. This improvement further underscores the fact that performance in the 2020 KCPE was commendable and that SNE children, given a fair and conducive environment, can excel,” said Prof. Magoha.
Magoha said that the number of candidates who sat the KCPE examination under special circumstances, including those who sat the examination in hospitals increased from 1,176 in the year 2019 to 1,255 in 2020.
“I particularly wish to mention a unique case of a candidate by the name Titus Musili from Kaunguni Primary School in Kitui County whom I was informed had been sent home from school over flimsy grounds. He ended up missing the English Composition paper. I had to intervene and ordered that he return to the examination room and I can assure the country that he completed his examinations and he is among the candidates who will receive their examinations results, today,” said the CS
Commenting on the effects of Covid-19 pandemic on the education sector, Magoha said that it is the first time that results of the KCPE is released in April and it is the first time the results is released when the country is busy managing the effects and spread of the Covid-19, a virus that is foreign to the whole world at large.
“I start by thanking God the Almighty for enabling us to hold today’s ceremony. I cannot take for granted His abundance, His gift of life and His enormous blessings to our country and all of our citizens that has made it possible to sit here and celebrate the hard work of our 1,179,192 million KCPE candidates. This looked like an unimaginable dream a few months ago,” said Magoha.
He said that when the Covid-19 pandemic befell the country in March 2020, the education sector was one that got completely disoriented.
“The future of our 15 million basic education learners seemed thrown deep into turmoil. We were simply at a crossroads. Because we were fighting a disease, which confounded even top grade medics, we did not know how long our schools would remain shut following the extended closure that was meant to help the country to manage the pandemic. Indeed, many people predicted doom and gloom for the education sector,” said Magoha.
“As part of our efforts to recover the lost time following the long closure due to Covid-19 last year, we reorganized term dates for schools in a manner that would help us recover the lost time. As a result, we are scheduled to reopen schools for Third Term on May 10th 2021 for all classes except Grade Four and Form One. We are hopeful that we will open as scheduled although we continue monitoring the country’s Covid-19 situation and the schools’ preparedness to adhere to all the Ministry of Health guidelines in managing the virus.”
On the 100 per cent transition to form one, Prof. Magoha said that all the 1,179,192 candidates whose results were released will be admitted to secondary schools under the Government’s 100 per cent transition policy.
“For the second year running, the Government will offer 9,000 scholarships under the Elimu Scholarship Programme, which was initiated in 2019,” he revealed
The CS added that reports from all public schools show that the 2019 KCPE candidates who benefitted from the programme are doing exceptionally well in the schools they were admitted to.
Teachers Service Commission, CEO, Dr Nancy Macharia, said that due to Covid-19, they have lost 15 souls that included four teachers, three Deputy Head teachers and eight head teachers in primary schools alone.
“I therefore passionately urge all the teachers to adopt the twin remedies of complying with all Covid-19 measures and to get vaccinated as the best ways of pre-empting further negative effects of the pandemic,” said Macharia.
“We ask the teachers to refer to the list of the 622 Covid-19 vaccination centres on the TSC website for ease of reference. Some of the accredited providers are in the Teachers’ Medical Scheme making it easier for teachers,” she said.
Macharia appealed and encouraged examiners who will be travelling for the marking exercise of the KCSE next week to ensure that they are vaccinated before their travel to the City and its environs.
By Joseph Ng’ang’a