KCSE 2019: Fallen Giants Back as A's Double

Humbled education giants have bounced back to reclaim the glory of producing top performers in KCSE exams after a three-year term in the cold.


In the results released on Wednesday by Education CS Prof George Magoha, Kenya High recorded 76 A plain grades, followed by Kapsabet Boys High School and Alliance High School in third position.

The schools are an envy of many but had been dethroned from the top of the academic league table three years ago after the strict measures adopted in 2016 to stop examination cheating.

The results are a confirmation that our teachers are now preparing candidates better and learners themselves can now engage in studies knowing their performance depends on individual input.

Kenya High School also prides itself on having produced the top three candidates overall in this year's test.

Kapsabet Boys was best school in the boys’ category, scoring 49 As.

So too, Alliance High School had 48 top grades, Moi Kabarak 30, Alliance High School 48, Maryhill Girls 25, Maseno, Nairobi School and Mangu High each with 23, while Moi Girls Eldoret scooped 21.

Magoha, releasing this year's results in Nairobi, noted a general improvement in countrywide performance, compared to the showing in the past three years.

“The results are a confirmation that our teachers are now preparing candidates better and that the learners themselves can now engage in studies knowing well that their performance depends on individual input,” Magoha said.

Overall, the number of candidates with a minimum university entry qualification of mean grade C plus and above in 2019 is 125,746 (18.02 per cent), compared with 90,377 in the 2018 KCSE examination — a difference of 35,369.

The number of candidates attaining the highest overall mean grade (A Plain) rose from 315 (0.05 per cent) in 2018 to 627 this year.

Similarly, the number of candidates attaining a mean grade of A- shot up to 5,796 from 3,417 in 2018.

Girls performed better than boys in eight subjects: English, Kiswahili, CRE, Home Science, Art and Design, German and Kenya Sign Language.

English, Kiswahili, chemistry, biology and physics are among the critical subjects where performance shot up in 2019 compared with 2018.

While some of the big names regained their crowns, some other once-renowned schools are still out in the cold as they failed to attain their former fame.

They include Maranda High School, Starehe Boys Centre, Lenana School, Moi Forces Boys, Mangu Girls and Pangani Girls, among other prestigious options for many joining secondary schools.

National Schools produced most of the top performers, posting 495 of the total 600 As in this year’s examination.

This year's number of As and A- grades increased twofold compared to 2018.

Buluma Tony Wabuko from Kapsabet Boys stole the show, posting As in all his subjects.

He was also among the top candidates when he sat his KCPE exam in 2015, having scored 433 marks at St Thomas Aquinas, Nakuru.

In that year, the top KCPE candidate earned 449 marks.

University places

The results are an early Christmas gift for the 125,746 candidates who scored C plus and above, poised for placement to universities to pursue careers of their choice under government sponsorship.

With a surplus in the number set to join university, two options lie ahead: one is to have all those with C+ and above admitted to public and private universities, second is to raise the cut-off mark to join university.

The cut-off would mean some of those qualified to join university under government sponsorship will have to be dropped, just as in the years prior to 2016.

In 2018, the government sponsored 90,744 students to public and private universities.

This year, the number of those qualifying for university placement rose dramatically.

However, Magoha is concerned about the poor uptake of middle-level college
places, despite more than half of candidates failing to secure a grade for university admission.

“We need to change our mindset on how we look at TVETs and start encouraging our kids who do not qualify for university to join them,” Magoha said.

In this year’s exams, 567,517 students scored below C plus. Of these, 29,318 students got an E in the 2019 KCSE exams.

So too, no county school got an A, with most of the 152,339 candidates posting D minus

This year’s exam was the 31st time the test was administered and the fourth since 2016 when strict anti-cheating measures were adopted.

Seventeen counties enrolled more girls than boys, while CS Magoha said the results of 1,309 candidates were canceled due to exam irregularities. He said no case of exam leakage was reported.

Special needs

A total of 1,672 candidates with special needs sat this year’s examination, compared to 1,499 candidates with special needs who sat the 2018 exam.

The highest number of special needs candidates who sat the examination were physically impaired (651).

Four candidates in this category scored a mean grade of A minus, with 127 scoring a mean grade of C plus and above.

With a surplus in the number set to join university, two options lie ahead: one is to have all those with C+ and above admitted to public and private universities, second is to raise the cut-off mark to join university.

The cut-off would mean some of those qualified to join university under government sponsorship will have to be dropped, just as in the years prior to 2016.

In 2018, the government sponsored 90,744 students to public and private universities.

This year, the number of those qualifying for university placement rose dramatically.

However, Magoha is concerned about the poor uptake of middle-level college places, despite more than half of candidates failing to secure a grade for university admission.

“We need to change our mindset on how we look at TVETs and start encouraging our kids who do not qualify for university to join them,” Magoha said.

In this year’s exams, 567,517 students scored below C plus. Of these, 29,318 students got an E in the 2019 KCSE exams.

So too, no county school got an A, with most of the 152,339 candidates posting D minus.

This year’s exam was the 31st time the test was administered and the fourth since 2016 when strict anti-cheating measures were adopted.

Seventeen counties enrolled more girls than boys.

CS Magoha said the results of 1,309 candidates were cancelled due to exam irregularities.

He said no exam leakage was reported.

Special needs

A total of 1,672 candidates with special needs sat this year’s examination, compared to 1,499 candidates with special needs who sat the 2018 exam.

The highest number of special needs candidates who sat the examination were physically impaired (651).

Four candidates in this category scored a mean grade of A minus, with 127 scoring a mean grade of C plus and above.

In Summary

• Kenya High recorded 76 A plain grades, followed by Kapsabet Boys High School and Alliance High School in third position.

• Kenya High School produced the top three candidates overall.

https://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2019-12-19-kcse-2019-fallen-giants-back-as-as-double/

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