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Why your child should not fail KCPE exams this year

By Augustine Oduor | Published Sun, April 1st 2018 at 00:00, Updated April 1st 2018 at 09:41 GMT +3
A student says a prayer before he starts his KCSE on the first day at Kisumu Boys on November 06, 2017. [Denish Ochieng/Standard]

In summary

  • State has released a key report that identifies core strengths and weak points that need improvement
  • Ministry of Education has asked schools to download their reports from KNEC website to start preparing for examinations

A new report has pointed out key areas where Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates perform poorly and need improvement. The document titled Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) KCPE Examinations School-Specific Report shows how candidates scored in specific subject areas.

The report shows that candidates performed poorly on questions touching on social studies, the government, politics, people and relationships.

However, the performance analysis done between 2013 and 2015 shows that candidates did better in social relations and citizenship.

Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) national chairman Shem Ndolo yesterday said the current syllabus does not lay proper emphasis on history and governance.

“These areas are taught but not emphasised as the core subjects are. This is why we hope that the new curriculum will change a lot of things because it is all inclusive,” said Ndolo.

According to the report, under science, weather and astronomy, water and soil were the worst performed questions in three years.

In religious studies, candidates did well on questions testing the Old Testament and Christian living but found it more difficult to tackle those on the African traditional heritage and rites of passage. Knec prepared an individual report for each school meaning there are 26,000 different documents sent to schools.

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The reports come at a time when a series of county education dialogues sessions led by Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang have just been concluded.

The dialogues were held in all the 47 counties, with the last one done in Kakamega on Thursday.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed attended the meetings and spoke tough on the administration of this year’s national examinations.

Ms Mohamed said the Ministry, through Knec, will continue to put in place formidable measures to ensure that national examinations are  credible.

Finer look

Meanwhile, individual schools can access the KCPE school specific analysis reports on the Knec website (

“Each school can now know its strength and weaknesses compared to others,” Knec acting Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo said.

The Ministry of Education says the reports will help schools in their revision as they start preparing for their examinations.

Last week, PS Kipsang asked all teachers to study the reports and fix the gaps that exist in performance in national examinations.

A finer look at the reports reveals how each school’s candidates performed in cognitive skills, including on questions that test pupil’s knowledge, application, evaluation, comprehension and synthesis.

According to Knec, the report will enable the school management to identify the strengths for the schools and areas for improvement.

This means that there will be no excuses for poor performance in this year’s national examinations. From the analysis, each school will also compare its academic performance to the national performance through the subject and overall mean grades provided.

Knec head of research, Dr Asumpta Matei, said quality assurance personnel will use school’s academic performance data alongside teaching and learning experiences to hold the school management to account.

“We expect that the analysis of the results will guide schools in setting performance targets at both classroom and school levels,” Dr Matei said.

The reports show the subject means of each individual school, indicating how they compare with the national averages. The documents also show the misconceptions that candidates have on specific topics, where they perform poorly.

The move by Knec to conduct the analysis is an offshoot of the Sh8.8 billion Primary Education Development Project, which initially targeted an analysis of KCPE results for 4,000 low performing schools.

Under the programme, low performing schools have been put on an ambitious project to boost their grades in KCPE.

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