Raila concerned over high number of students failing KCSE
Opposition leader Raila Odinga has expressed concern over the high number of students who fail to meet the university entry grade of C+ and above in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.
In a statement issued Thursday morning, Mr. Odinga said the government needs to set up a task force to look into the worrying trend of very low transition to university that has been witnessed in recent years.
“As the country commits resources to free learning and scales up enrollment, the whole purpose and value for money is lost when close to 90 per cent of those students eventually fail. The government must listen to the cries of the candidates, the parents and teachers’ unions on this matter,” said Odinga.
He added: “The overall number of candidates with minimum university entry qualification, Grade C+ and above, stands at only 11.38 percent. Close to 90 per cent of the KCSE candidates have failed. This is very worrying. Our country needs skilled manpower to achieve its ambitious growth goals. Making the transition from high school to university is a significant, though not the only step, towards the realization of those national goals.”
Of the 615,772 candidates who sat this year’s KCSE exam, only 70,073 attained the university entry grade of C+ and above compared to 88,929 the previous year. In 2016, 577,253 candidates wrote the KCSE exam.
In this year’s exam, 540,428 candidates scored between grade E and C plain compared to 482,232 last year.
Only 142 students managed an A grade in the 2017 exam, one better compared to last year’s 141. The number of those who attained A minus reducing to 2,714 from last year’s 4,645.
Meanwhile, Mr. Odinga has hailed the government for the drop in cases of cheating in exams.
“We recognise the improvements at the Kenya National Examination Council that have seen a reduction in cheating and speedy release of results. We congratulate the teachers and the schools for the exemplary performance they have recorded. The girls have continued with their good run and I encourage them to stay the course,” said the opposition leader.