Private Schools Bounce Back in KCPE Exams

Private schools have made a dramatic comeback to stamp their authority as bastions of excellence, elbowing out public schools in 2021 KCPE exams.

Academies scooped 11 of the top 14 slots, even as top marks continued to slide downward over five years.

Last year, public schools defied the Covid-19 pandemic and learning hiatus to dominate results, capturing seven of the top 10 spots in the KCPE exam.

Magata Bruce Makenzie of Gilgil Hills Academy posted 428 marks out of the possible 500 to emerge top of the 2021 class.

But there was a marginal drop of five marks compared to the 2020 KCPE exam results when Mumo Faith Kawee of Kari-Mwailu Public Primary School emerged top with 433 marks.

But overall performance improved.

Boys dominated eight of the top 14 positions, with girls taking six slots.

The Ministry of Education said 1,214,031 candidates sat the exams in 28,313 centres.

The results were released at the Kenya National Examinations Council offices.

However, the results showed a trend of declining top marks over five years: 455 (2017), 455 (2018), 440 (2019), 433 (2020) and 428 in 2021.

In the results released on Monday by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha, Ashley Kerubo of Makini School, Kibos, was second with 427 marks.

Six students tied for third, all scoring 426 marks.

They are Charity Buyanzi (Holy Family Misikhu), Sharon Wairimu (Emmanuel Academy), Chantelle Ndinda (Kitengela International School, Stanely Otieno (Rophine Field Junior School), Naomi Wekesa (White Star Academy) and Ethan Karuga of Stepping Stones Preparatory.

The 2021 candidates weathered a gruelling, shortened academic calendar compressed to recover time lost during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The CS announced 320 students had been smoked out for examination cheating in seven exam centres.

However, unlike last year when the government allowed the cheats to receive their results, Magoha said this year's cheats will be punished severely.

These candidates, Magoha said, will be awarded a mark of zero in the affected subjects.

“During the marking ... KNEC established that 320 candidates in seven examination centres colluded during the administration of the 2021 KCPE examination,” he said.

A stern Magoha said all the candidates will proceed to secondary school under he government’s 100 per cent transition plan.

Magoha said the ministry already has put in place measures to ensure the selection exercise is conducted as soon as possible to ensure the
candidates join Form 1 soon, as the next academic year is dramatically shortened.

“A total of 1,214,031 candidates who sat the examination in 28,313 centres across the country will receive their results today and will thus be eligible for admission to secondary schools,” Magoha said.

The CS warned school heads against withholding results of any candidate due to fees balances.

“Kenya does not belong to you, the school does not belong to you and the child is not yours. Just release the results and talk about fees on the side,” he said told school heads.

In terms of overall performance, Magoha said this year’s KCPE exam candidates posted an impressive average performance and higher grades in all subjects.

In the 2021 KCPE results, 11,857 candidates scored 400 marks and above, an increase from the 8,091 performers of the previous year, recording a strong improvement.

“This is an indicator that most candidates scored better than in the previous year,” Magoha said.

A total of 315,275 candidates scored between 300 and 399 marks while 578,197 candidates posted between 200 and 299 marks, compared with the 589,027 who scored between the same range in the 2020 KCPE exam results.

The results also showed a worrying trend, an increase in the number of candidates scoring below 199 marks.

Most secondary schools do not admit candidates who score below 200 marks in the KCPE exam.

The number of candidates who scored
below 100 marks increased from 307 in the 2020 KCPE exam to 1,170 in the 2021 results.

Magoha said some 11,523 candidates did not show up to write their exams despite having been registered, down from the 12,424 who never sat the 2020 KCPE exam.

The highest Special Needs Education candidate Bethany Tahillah Migosi of Thorn Grove Academy scored 417 marks compared with the top candidate in that category who scored 420 marks in 2020.

Grace Neema Katana came second with 407 marks followed by Kamau Jackson who posted 401 marks. Musyoka Kings Kevin and Dominick Migosi also tied at position three with 401 marks each.

The number of candidates with Special Needs was lower in the year 2021 (2,483) when compared with that of the year 2020 (2,675).

The categories with the highest number of candidates with special needs in the 2021 KCPE examination were those with physical disabilities (1,013), followed by those with hearing impairment (734).

The number of candidates who sat the KCPE examination under special circumstances, including those who sat the examination in hospitals, decreased from 1,240 in 2020 to 1,067 in the year 2021.

Mandera DEB in North Eastern with an enrolment of 200 candidates was the most-improved public primary school from the region with a mean score of 270, up from 181 in 2020.

Nyangiti Primary School in Nyanza was the second most-improved school from the region with an enrolment of more than 50 students.

The school with 52 students recorded an increase in the mean score from 170 to 231.

Kewa DEB Primary School, which has 53 students, was the most improved school from Western Kenya. Its mean score increased from 216 to 284.

In Rift Valley, Lenkishon Primary School was the most improved public primary school in the region, increasing its mean score from 198 to 272. It had 54 candidates.

In Nairobi, Cheleta Primary School was the most improved in the county with an increase of its mean score from 213 to 263.

At the Coast, Kambi ya Waya was the most improved public primary school with an increase of 63, from 203 to 266.

In Central, Njenga Karume was most improved, with a mean of 248 up from 207

In Lower Eastern, Ngukuine Primary School was the most improved public primary school, increasing its mean from 165 to 250, Fifty candidates were enrolled.

Candidates improved in English Composition, Kiswahili Lugha, Kiswahili Insha, Kenyan Sign Language, Composition, Science and Social Studies.

Marks declined in three other papers, Mathematics, English Language and Religious Education.

In terms of gender, female candidates performed slightly better than boys in English and Kiswahili.

Boys performed slightly better than girls in Kenyan Sign Language, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and Religious Education.

The number of registered candidates who were age 12 years and below increased from 26,378 in 2020 to 33,627 in 2021.

The counties with the highest entry for candidates age 12 years and younger were Baringo (1,302), Bomet (1,932), Kericho (1,846), West Pokot (947) and Nyamira (1,111).

Those counties, except Nyamira, recorded a similar trend in the 2020 KCPE examination.

“The highest number of candidates, 551,920, were in the appropriate age bracket of 13 to 14 years, a trend which has been replicated in the last five years,” Magoha said.

The counties with the highest entry of candidates 19 years and older were Turkana (2,755), Garissa (1,484), Kilifi (3,304), Kwale (1,940) and Mandera (386).

Those counties, except Mandera, recorded a similar trend in the 2020 KCPE examination.

In Summary

  • Private sector schools scooped 11 of the top 14 positions for 2021.
  • Last year, public schools defied the Covid-19 pandemic to dominate the exams, capturing seven out of the best 10 in the 2020 KCPE exams.

    The Star - Tuesday - 29th,March 2022

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