Revealed: 60% of 2019 KCSE candidates scored grade D and below
Over 350,000 students scored grade D and below in the recently released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results.
In addition to those that scored D+, it represented 61% of students who were on the lower end of the ranking scale.
However, this is nothing new even as general improvement in performance is reported in the KCSE examinations over the years.
Little is known of Lugusi Friends Secondary School in Webuye; the school had a total candidature of 30 students who sat for this years’ examination, with the top candidate managing grade C plain.
Three students managed grade C plain, 4 others had D+, 3 registered grade D plain, with 17 scoring D-. Three students had the E grade.
“We have been on upward mobility, last year – 2018 – the school had a mean score of 2.1, this year the school had a mean of 2.6; there is a deviation of 0.5,” said Aaron Limo, the school’s Director of Studies.
While locals might be worried, this has been the national outlook every year during the release of KCSE results, the bottom of the pyramid is always the largest.
In 2017, the total number of students in that category was 314,035; in 2018 they were 343,897 while in 2019, they are 319, 370.
But why should this be the case?
“These children have gone through primary education that does not necessarily emphasize on them achieving certain learning milestones; it is emphasizing them going through the system. It is like a conveyor belt you put at point A and you must eject at point B,” says Emmanuel Manyasa, an educationist at Twaweza East Africa.
Education analyst Amos Kaburu, on the other hand, says: “The education that we’re giving children has not been configured to deliver quality. There is more emphasis on access as opposed to what basically is the output.
Despite the numbers being pulled from all levels of schools – national, extra county, county and even sub-county schools – experts insist that there is more than meets the eye; this as a majority of the grade C’s and below were from sub-county schools.
“National government invests more on national schools to the detriment of day secondary schools in the rural areas,” adds Mr. Manyasa.
“These are children who got 100 or 200 marks, you need to give them more time, more resources, more teachers,” states Mr. Kaburu.
Teaching and vocational training centres have normally been the alternative for these category of students, amid the challenges of lack of a harmonised curriculum in such institutions.
But even though every student was to get a placement at an institution of higher learning, there is still a challenge, fueled by those who own the means of production.
According to Mr. Kaburu, “the people who own the land are not willing to invest in young people, they are not willing to avail these resources. The government needs to avail a model where these people are willing to invest in young people.
For the educationists, the curriculum-based programme offers a promising future if efficiently implemented, as every student requires an environment where they can achieve their maximum potential, without the grades being the final determinant of their next stage of life.