KCSE Results - 28 counties without A's

KCSE Results - 28 counties without A's.

Twenty-eight counties did not have any candidate with an A grade in this year's Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination.

The 142 candidates who scored the top grade are from schools in 19 of the 47 counties, with most of them from Kiambu and Nairobi.

This skewed spread of top performers raises questions about the quality of teaching and facilities in schools from the 28 counties that failed to record a single A. An analysis of the results shows that Kiambu, Siaya, Nakuru, Nairobi, Uasin Gishu, Migori, Bungoma, and Nyeri are the A-grade kings.

Kisii, Mombasa, Kericho, Nandi, Vihiga, Murang’a, Kakamega, Kisumu, Homa Bay, and Nyamira also hasd a considerable number of A's.

Overall, Kiambu had the greatest number of A's, posting a total of 34.

The results have unearthed shocking details of national examinations brought about by the rigour and thoroughness of the administration of the tests.

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said this year’s examiners noted that most candidates’ tackled questions requiring elaborate responses inadequately.

He said the examiners reported that candidates answered questions that required them to ‘discuss or explain’ poorly.

KCSE examinations, unlike Kenya Certificate of Primary Education papers with multiple-choice questions, require candidates to understand concepts and offer a convincing discussion through written essays.

“Although the ministry and Knec (Kenya National Examinations Council) have yet to carry out an elaborate assessment to find out the reasons for this poor response to these types of questions, examiners pointed out that many candidates over-relied on using sketchy revision books and past papers, which don’t contain detailed explanations during their revision,” said Dr Matiang’i.

Education reforms

This led to poor results that have disappointed many candidates and are also likely to shape university entry and higher education reforms.

With only 70,000 candidates scoring C+ and above, the net effect of this is that public universities will not have any students left over to join their parallel degree programmes.

It emerged that the available spaces in the 35 public universities are 74,000, based on last year's data. Private universities absorbed 15,000 students during this year’s placement.

This means that there will be more spaces available than the qualified students to take them up.

It also means that public universities' parallel programmes will not have students to admit and a number of programmes might be affected.

Most universities will have fewer classes as admission numbers are likely to affect placement.

The development is likely to force changes in universities that enrol more students and offer programmes they cannot sustain.

A 2016 Status of University Education report said that between 2010 and 2014 public institutions received Sh279.6 billion.

Over the same period, public universities collected Sh117.9 billion from student fees.

Matiang’i faulted the institutions for running parallel payrolls, with the second payslip drawn from parallel programme returns.

It is suspected that some institutions mismanage the funds from this kitty.

This means universities' revenue from these programmes will be reduced substantially and if the performance trend persists, it may fade naturally.

Vice chancellors of public universities have expressed concern at the reduced number of students posting C+ and
above, saying this would starve the institutions of additional funds.

The parallel degree programme, also known as Module Two, was designed to take care of students who qualified but could not be admitted.

However for the past two years, the number of candidates with grade C+ and above has continued to drop.

“Now that we don’t have any student who has scored C+ being left out, Module Two will die. And there is no problem. It should probably not be there,” Technical University of Kenya Vice Chancellor Francis Aduol said last year.

Speaking at the selection forum organised by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) last year, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology Vice Chancellor Mabel Imbuga had a different opinion.

“We are losing and we are losing money. I don’t know how to be diplomatic. But our children have a choice to go to public or private universities,” she said.

Flip side

The flip side, however, is that students who scored C+ and above this year will be spoilt for choice as they will have a chance to choose programmes from both public and private universities.

President Uhuru Kenyatta has instructed KUCCPS to admit government-funded students to private universities.

This means that once the programme selection window is opened by KUCCPS, students will be allowed to choose courses from both private and public universities.

It also means that most programmes will not get enough students, a trend that might in future lead to some institutions dropping some courses.

KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer John Muraguri Thursday said the selection window will soon be opened and called on students to apply.

The Standard, Friday December 22nd 2017.

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