, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 21 – The 2017 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results released on Tuesday without a single case of malpractice saw a raft of measures taken to ensure the smooth operation of the entire exam cycle, leading to a substantial improvement compared to 2016.
Speaking during the launch of the KCPE results, Education CS Fred Matiangi lauded the multi-agency collaboration and stakeholders who burnt the midnight oil to ensure students got accurate and timely results.
“2017 results have marked an incredible improvement. The top candidate scored 455 marks compared to last year’s highest ranking student who got 437 marks,” Matiangi said.
He was particularly impressed by the re-emergence of public schools that bounced to reclaim their rightful places at the top and promised to reward the ones that did exemplary well.
“The second best candidate in the country is from a public school,” he said adding that “we will make a special extra allocation of funds for the public secondary schools that have produced top 100 students. We have seen the re-emergence of public schools.”
The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) Chairman George Magoha partly attributed the efficient management of the marking process to the automated Optical Mark Recognition machines bought at a cost of Sh100 million that fast-tracked the marking process.
“This time I want to guarantee you and you can take it to the bank. There shall be no complaints because our marks are at 99.98 per cent which means that each child will get what is due to him,” he stated.
“We are no longer talking about leakage, we are now talking about early exposure. But even that is being eliminated.”
In 2016, the KCPE results were released on December 1.
Magoha was impressed by a teacher in Tigania East, Meru County who was captured on camera bracing floods to deliver exam papers. “I’m happy to belong to the same country like this teacher,” he said.
Magoha also acknowledged the changes in the legislative framework especially the passing of the KNEC Amendment Act 2016 in order to ensure the integrity of the examination and education system in Kenya.
The Act, in particular, creates the offence against the member, officer, agent or staff of the council whose omission or commission leads to an examination irregularity and attracts a penalty of a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding Sh5million or both.
Also, a notable improvement during the 2017 examinations was distribution logistics that saw the availability of choppers to ferry exam material to areas which had experienced heavy rains especially in North Eastern and Lower Eastern regions.
The Teachers Service Commission Chief (TSC) Executive Officer Nancy Macharia who was also present observed that no irregularities were reported during the administration of this year’s exams.
“I would want to commend our teachers for accepting the critical role of centre managers which require them to wake up as early as 4am to be able to make it to the containers and so they did this job in a splendid manner,” she said.
The words were echoed by Matiangi who lauded primary school teachers and school heads who put in the hours to see a general improvement in the results.
“There were no cases of irregularities – not even one. Primary school teachers are our heroes,” a visibly elated Matiangi added.
Matiangi committed that Form One selection will be done by December 4 and also assured students and parents that all who performed well will secure a national school slot.
“The KCPE candidates who scored 400 marks and above will be placed in national schools whether from public or private schools,” he said, while students who scored over 400 marks have increased considerably, notably, those who scored less than 100 marks have also reduced compared to 2016.
“Candidates who scored below 100 marks has reduced 2,360 students as compared to over 5,000 who scored less than 100 marks last year.”
The TSC boss noted the immense sacrifice that teachers had to endure to deliver credible results.
“In addition to waking up as early as 4am, which is not an easy task, teachers weren’t required to have the phones with them during exams. Some of them were mothers who might have had emergencies at home but they obeyed the rules until the exams were over,” she noted.
She further acknowledged the role performance management played in ensuring that a general improvement in KCPE was reported in 2017.
“The good performance can be attributed to performance management. Teachers have embraced it and we can say that it has improved the performance,” she said.
“No teacher was found to have breached any law which shows a great improvement as compared to 2016 results. TSC will be looking at rewarding head teachers of public high schools that have done well. President Kenyatta already gave a go-ahead for the same.”