KCSE: The figures just don't add up

Forget it, boys performed better than girls in this year’s exams!

Girls took six of the top 10 positions in this year's Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination, but they were still outperformed by boys.

An analysis of examination data debunks the myth that girls performed better than boys in this year’s examination, according to a narrative fronted by the Education Ministry.

It also casts doubts on the ministry's assertion that this year's performance was better than last year's.

Top 100

Available data shows that girls only posted a significant edge over boys in the top 10 positions.

Overall, boys dominated the top 100 positions. Out of the top 100 candidates, 54 were boys and 46 were girls.

The number of girls who qualified to join university dropped by 43 per cent in 2017 compared to last year.

Official examination data shows that only 28,386 girls score C+ and above, which is the minimum grade required for university entry, down from the 50,415 who qualified last year.

On the flip-side, boys seemed to bounce back from their performance last year after the number that qualified grew by 8 per cent from 38,514 last year to 41,687.

An analysis according to grade shows that boys beat girls in all the top six grades. Available data shows that 61 girls scored grade A compared to the boys' 81.

Ahead of girls

Though there was a significant drop in the number of candidates who scored A- this year compared to last year, boys still raced ahead of girls. There were twice as many boys who scored A- compared to girls. A total of 1,813 boys scored A- compared to 901 girls.

The trend seems to be maintained in the other top grades as 4,596 boys score B+ compared to 2,748 girls. Grade B was shared by 7,738 boys and 4,890 girls, while 11,631 boys scored grade B- compared to 7,754 girls.

C+ grades

Boys still led girls in the number of C+ grades, posting 15,828 against girls' 12,032. The trend is replicated in all the other grades.

More girls scored A grades this year compared to last year. In 2016, out of the 141 As, girls got 58 while boys got 83.

Overall, there is no statistic to back the narrative that girls performed better than boys in the examination.

Although girls performed better than boys in six of the subjects offered, boys performed better in 23 of the subjects.

Girls did better than boys in English, Kiswahili, CRE, home science, art, and design and electricity.

Overall performance

Although the Education Ministry argued that this year's performance was better than last year's, a closer look at the results shows that 70 per cent of the candidates scored mean grade D and below.

This was a drop from the 65 per cent last year. A total of 438,914 candidates scored D and below compared to about 376,414 last year.

The number of candidates who qualified for university this year
fell by 18,000 compared to last year. The data shows that the number of those who qualified shrunk by 21 per cent to 70,073 compared to 88,929 who made the cut in 2016.

The drop is expected to generate concern among private universities, which will have a smaller pool to pick from next year after public universities admit the bulk of the candidates who score C+ and above.

County performance

The data shows that only 18 counties had a candidate in the top 100 positions. This means that 29 counties did not have a candidate among the top best-performing students.

Kiambu County, which is home to some of the best performing schools, took the lions share of the top 100 slots with 31 candidates. It was followed by Nairobi County (20), Nakuru (nine), and Uasin Gishu (eight).

Between them, Nairobi and Kiambu took 50 per cent of the top 100 positions.

Total numbers

Boys still dominated the examination in terms of total number of candidates. Some 611,952 candidates sat the examination this year compared to 574,125 in 2016.

Of these, 315,630 were male and 296,322 were female.

“This is an indication that the country is on the right path towards achieving gender parity in examinations enrolment at secondary school level,” said Dr Matiang’i.

Standard - Friday, December 22nd 2017.

KCSE Results » KCSE Results Top 100 Schools - Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education – KCSE » KCSE Top 100 Candidates » Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education – KCSE » KNEC - Kenya National Examinations Council » Secondary Schools in Kenya » KNEC - Kenya National Examinations Council » Free KNEC KCSE Past Papers

Kenya Scholarships for Undergraduate Students » Kenya Scholarships for Postgraduate Students » Undergraduate Scholarships for Kenyan Students » Kenya Undergraduate Scholarships » Full Undergraduate Scholarships for Kenyans » Kenya Postgraduate Scholarships » Scholarships & Grants » Undergraduate Scholarships » Universities in Kenya » Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) » Colleges in Kenya » KASNEB Registration & Results » Secondary Schools Scholarships in Kenya » Undergraduate & Graduate Scholarships for Kenyans

Free KCSE Past Papers » KNEC Past Exams » Free Downloads » KCSE Papers & Marking Schemes

What is an Operating System? » Computer Shortcut Keys and their Functions » Keyboard Function Keys

Short Stories for Kids - Moral Stories – English Short Stories for Children - Moral Stories for Kids - Stories for Kids - Funny Story for Kids - Scary Stories for Kids - Really Funny Short Stories - Bedtime Stories

Powerful Motivational Quotes for Students » Success Quotes » English Short Stories for Kids

Cabin Crew Jobs & Career Advice » Secretary Job Description

Find jobs in Kenya. Jobs - Kenya jobs. Search our career portal & find the latest Kenyan job positions, career opportunities & jobs in Kenya.

Jobs in Kenya - banking jobs, IT jobs, accounting jobs.

Find your dream job from 1000s of vacancies in Kenya posted and updated daily - click here!

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to KCSE Questions & Comments.