Four thousand primary schools are set for closer scrutiny over their performance in next month’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) after the government’s heavy financial expenditure to boost their grades.
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The Ministry of Education has since 2015 put the schools under a programme to lift their mean average scores to above the half-way mark.
Schools from all parts of the country that scored 243 marks and below during the 2013 and 2014 KCPE were selected for this programme.
Elijah Mungai, the acting director of Delivery of Projects at the Ministry of Education, said the schools were funded under a four-year project to ensure they raise their performance from the meagre mean of 243.
They were placed under the Sh8.8 billion World-Bank funded Primary Education (Priede) Project’s school improvement programme (SIP).
“We are closely monitoring the school’s performance in this year’s KCPE to see if the investment we have made on them has been worthwhile as the project heads to its initial end-term,” Mr Mungai said. Teachers from the schools have received training to equip them with skills on how to help boost learners’ competence in critical skills.
Under the programme, Mungai said, an annual KCPE analysis and feedback report has been given to each of the participating schools to help them identify their weaknesses and select appropriate measures to improve their curriculum delivery.
The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) have over the four years produced detailed, school level analysis of the KCPE results to the 4,000 SIP schools in the form of school specific reports.
The council, however, took the opportunity to provide reports for all the more than 20,000 primary schools, including those that were not covered under the project.
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The KCPE school specific analysis reports for the 4,000 pilot schools were prepared and posted on the Knec website (www.knec.ac.ke) as from November 2016. “The schools have been receiving hard copies of the KCPE analysis at county level,” according to a document detailing the Minitry’s plan.
Other than academics, the School Improvement Project (SIP) also seeks to equip the school management committees and head teachers with skills on leadership performance.
Overall, it seeks to strengthen school management and accountability in the delivery of primary education. Already, the management committees of the 4,000 pilot schools have been trained on measures to boost quality of learning and teaching.
The schools were also asked to implement a tool that tracks performance of teachers so they can know how and where to put emphasis.
The project seeks to enable the selected schools participating in the pilot to be audited annually during the project implementation period by the School Audit Directorate under Ministry of Education.