NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 30 – Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i on Wednesday said gender parity had been achieved at the national level.
According to Matiang’i, of the 927,789 candidates who sat the 2015 KCPE examination, 459,885 were girls at 49.6 percent, while 467,904 were boys (50.4 percent).
The number of students sitting the examinations also increased, with the number of girls who took the examinations increasing from 437,228 in 2014 to 459,885 this year.
A total of 937,467 candidates sat this year’s KCPE examinations which were dogged by widespread cheating across the country, raising serious concerns on integrity of the exams.
“Candidature in the KCPE examination has continued to grow steadily over the years. In the last 10 years candidature for the KCPE examination has increased by 261,338 candidates, representing a percentage increase of 39.2 percent,” Matiang’i said when he released the results in which the top student scored 446 marks out of the possible 500.
For the first time in five years, the number of boys who sat their KCPE examination nationally increased, marking a 5.56 percent beating that of girls which stood at 5.18 percent.
At the county level however, 23 out of 47 counties had higher numbers of girls sitting for the examinations.
It includes Nairobi, Bungoma, Kiambu, Machakos, Meru, Kisii, Uasin Gishu, Siaya, Trans Nzoia, Nandi, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Vihiga, and Elgeyo Marakwet among others.
“All these counties also had more female than male candidates who sat for the year 2014 KCPE examination, with the exception of Nyeri County which had more male candidates that year,” he said.
Mandera, Garissa, Turkana, Wajir and Samburu, were however noted to have gender disparity in favour of boys being too high.
“Mandera had 67 percent of boys sitting for their KCPE exams against 33 percent of girls. Garissa had 66 percent of boys against 34 percent of girls while Turkana had 65 percent of boys against 35 percent of girls. Wajir had 64 percent of boys against 36 percent of girls while Samburu had 61 percent of boys against that of girls at 39 percent.”
Gender disparity was however noted to be increasing in Turkana and Samburu in favour of boys.
“The County Directors of Education in these counties are hereby tasked with putting in place interventions that will ensure that all girls of school – going age in these counties are enrolled in school,” Matiang’i said.