KCPE, KCSE: Why your child is likely to fail this year

Your child is likely to perform poorly in this year’s national examinations because he does not have full command of the English language.


Or he may not score good grades because he did not manage time well during examinations, or he simply did not follow instructions.

An analysis of KCSE examinations performance for the last three years, 2014-16, shows that candidates failed national examinations because they misunderstood the questions.

The report traces this to students’ overuse of ‘sheng’ language, which it says, distorts their understanding of the instruction language.

“Performance is affected by inadequate English language skills among students, yet it is the language of instruction curriculum delivery,” reads the report of the Ministry of Education.

The revelations are contained in a report by the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards under the Ministry of Education.

The report says that some students use of sheng in verbal and written communication. During last year’s KCSE examinations, none of the 615,773 candidates scored grade A in English.

Only 28 candidates scored A– with only 371 scoring B+.

Some 2,397 scored B, 11,449 managed B– and 25, 611 scoring C+.

A total of 1,003,556 candidates will sit this year’s KCPE while 615,773 were registered to sit the KCSE.

The document also finds that some students failed examinations because they did not manage their time effectively.

Others did not understand terminologies used in the examination questions. These examination factors, according to the report, form the second top most reasons why candidates fail the tests.

They constitute about 30 per cent of factors affecting performance.

The report finds that the top most reason why students perform poorly in examinations is indiscipline at 40 per cent.

Under this category, the report lists six main indiscipline factors that lead to poor performance in national examinations. “Some students get involved in deviant behaviour such as strikes and go slows which lead to them being sent away from school,” the report states.

It also finds that there is a lot of negative peer pressure among students, which makes them mislead each other.

“Truancy, absenteeism and skipping classes/lessons also contribute to poor performance,” reads the report.

It further says student’s involvement in promiscuous behaviour such as alcoholism, drugs and substance abuse also lead to poor performance.

Other factors listed under indiscipline are bullying among students and the negative effects of social media.

The report, seen by Saturday Standard cites school environment as the third cause of examination failures of students in national examinations.

It says that after indiscipline and examination factors, school environment constitutes 20 per cent of the reasons why students fail examinations.

The document identifies three reasons under school environment that lead to poor grades. “Workers collaborate with students to smuggle in prohibited items such as mobile phones, alcohol and drugs among others,” states the report.

It also finds that the distance between home and school deters students from focusing on their education.

“Some schools are located in unfriendly environments -- noisy, slums and related areas,” says report.

The fourth reason that contributes to candidates’ dismal performance, the report finds, are students own personality traits. This constitutes 10 per cent of the major reasons under examination factors.

“In a school set up, students are the centre of teaching and learning process and they should be responsible for their own learning by recognising the importance of self direction. However, most students fail to appreciate this,” reads the report.

The document
lists five reasons under the students’ personality traits that make them fail exams.

“Some students lack definite career paths hence fail to concentrate on their education,” it says.

In addition to this, the report says that indecisiveness leads to poor choice of subjects due to peer influence.

Some students have negative attitude towards learning, and this affects their performance.

“Some students feel that they are too old to be in school hence they engage in other gainful employment while still in school,” says report.

And finally, the report finds that some students fail national examinations because they marry when they are still in school.

“This compromises their performance,” it says.

In addition to the four factors – indiscipline, examinations, school environment and students’ traits – the report also identifies teacher-related factors that cause poor performance.

Teachers’ role

It says that a teacher is the most important factor in the teaching and learning process.

“The schools’ most important influence is the teacher since he/she sets the tone of the classroom and establishes learners mood. He is the authority figure that provides the direction of behaviour of learners,” it says.

However, the report finds that some teachers cause poor performance among students and lists some reasons why this is possible.

“Teachers with post graduate degrees feel misplaced hence engage in part time teaching in various universities and lack commitment to learners,” it says.

Parents too contribute to the failure of their children in national examinations.

The report says parents are expected to promote their children’s academic achievements, yet some do not actively participate towards this realisation.

Some parents do not even provide the basic necessities such as food, clothing and shelter, hence affecting the children’s psychological development.

“Some parents also entertain retrogressive cultural practices such as female genital mutilation, early marriages and forced marriages which demotivate girls hence affect performance,” says report.

Low levels

Others force their children into child labour while they are still in school while others abuse alcohol and drugs or fight at home.

In addition to these, the report says some parents with low levels of education fail to emphasise the importance of education to their children.

“Some parents are ailing as a result of HIV and AIDS or other terminal diseases.

“This leaves children to head families under challenging conditions, culminating in poor performance in examinations,” reads the report.

Overall, the report finds that some parents do not educate their children on values, leaving them to discover for themselves.

“Some parents fail to appreciate achievements attained by their children. Instead they reprimand them which leads to negative performance,” it adds.

https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/m/article/2001257941/poor-social-skills-why-your-child-may-fail-kcse

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