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Poor grades haunt KCPE top performers

By Protus Onyango | December 20th 2019

Some 6,000 students who sat this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations in national schools are in shock after they posted poor results.

National schools are the most sought after institutions. Many parents struggle to take their children to good public and private primary learning institution just so that they secure them places in the prestigious national schools. The fees paid in these schools are also higher, but it has been believed they have the best learning facilities.

A new report by the former Auditor General Edward Ouko showed that many parents still prefer to take their children to the traditional national schools than to those that were recently promoted.

Records from the Ministry of Education show that a record 112,000 Standard Eight learners had applied to join Nairobi-based Pangani Girls High School. Similarly, thousands applied to join The Kenya High, Alliance Boys and Girls, Nairobi School, Maseno School, to mention a few.

However, statistics from the 2019 results released by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Wednesday have left parents of at least 6,000 children crestfallen.

Seek admission

Cumulatively, the results show that a total of 6,041 students in national schools performed poorly. From these, 338 scored E, 856 got D-, 988 scored D, 1,442 had D+ while 2,417 managed C-.

The 6,041 from national schools are among the 504,415 who scored between E and C- in all categories of schools nationally. Out of these, 29,318 scored E.

Prof Magoha said the issue of preference for national schools has troubled his ministry for years. “Each year we celebrate the top performers, lift them shoulder high and buy them all forms of gifts. Parents flock to top national schools to seek admission of these candidates,” Magoha said.

On the contrary, the CS said, parents sneer at and express all forms of contempt at the candidates who score 200 marks or below.

“We write them off from future academic excellence. Some families marry off girls who score such marks, while some boys are sent to menial jobs on grounds they are academic dwarfs. Today, I wish to debunk these outdated myths,” Magoha said.

He said analysis of how some candidates who scored as little as 177 ended up scoring top grades in the KCSE was a story of extreme hope and encouragement. “This is good news, especially coming in the face of the new government policy of allowing all Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates to join Form One,” Magoha said.

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