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Mandera, Garissa and Wajir shine in KCPE without teachers

By Ally Jamah | December 30th 2015
Cabinet Secretary Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Dr Fred Matiang'i, right, assisted by Chairman Kenya National Examinations Council Prof Kabiru Kinyanjui, left and PS Ministry of Education, Science and Technology Belio Kipsang' during the release of the 2015 KCPE Examination results at Mtihani House, Nairobi, on Wednesday Dec 30, 2015. PHOTO: JONAH ONYANGO/STANDARD.

NAIROBI: Mandera, Wajir and Garissa defied odds and long spells without teachers to post positive results in the just released KCPE examinations.

Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i singled out the counties for exemplary show even after teachers deserted several schools in the counties due to terror attacks by Al Shabaab.

Said Matiang’i: “Garissa, Wajir and Mandera recorded better performance in 2015 as shown by mean scores.

Mandera County posted 173.68 compared to 151.97 in 2014. Garissa recorded 176.86 where it posted 157.56 over the same period while Wajir posted 183.49 compared to 175.34 last year.

When widespread insecurity masterminded by Al Shabaab hit parts of North Eastern Kenya particularly Mandera County, what followed was a mass exodus of government teachers.

Pupils were left on their own as schools struggled to keep learning activities alive. Teachers Unions added salt to injury when they asked unionisable members to withdraw labour and exit the counties.

Mandera County Governor Ali Roba says they worked hard to plug the gap of teacher shortages by hiring students who had cleared Form Four to stand in alongside untrained teachers.

Despite the mass exodus of teachers in Northern Kenya due to Al Shabaab attacks, candidates in hotspot counties of Garissa, Wajir and Mandera performed better than expected in the Kenya Certificate of Scondary Education.

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Interestingly, Mandera County which suffered some of the worst attacks by Al Shabaab prompting the exit of hundreds of teachers had the highest increase in mean score of 21.71 followed by Garissa which rose by 19.3. The mean score for Wajir rose by 8.15.

This is despite the fact that the general performance of public schools in other parts of the country recorded a significant decline, sparking concerns from educations stakeholders.

At the same time during the year 2015 KCPE examination, five counties recorded notable gender disparities in favour of boys. These were Mandera (67% boys: 33% girls), Garissa (66% boys: 34% girls), Turkana (65% boys: 35% girls), Wajir (64% boys: 36% girls) and Samburu (61% boys: 39% girls) counties.  While in three of these counties the gender inequalities continue to narrow as evidenced by the year 2014 KCPE examination gender parities of 67% boys: 33% girls in Garissa and Wajir, and 68% boys: 32% girls in Mandera.

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