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Boys outshine girls in math, science again

EDUCATION
By Graham Kajilwa and Allan Mungai | April 16th 2021

Teachers, parents and candidates celebrate at St Peter's Elite Gilgil Academy in Nakuru after their top candidate scored 419 in the KCPE examinations on April 15, 2021. [Kipsang Joseph, Standard]

Despite the push to have more female learners take part in technical subjects, 2020 KCPE exam results showed boys are still leading even as girls dominated in the enrollment.

Mathematics is one of the seven subjects which recorded an improvement in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam compared to 2019, and this was propelled more by the boys' performance.

Female candidates excelled in languages while their male counterparts took the lead in technical subjects.

“Female candidates performed better than their counterparts in English, Kiswahili and Kenya sign language. Male candidates performed slightly better than their female counterparts in mathematics, science, social studies and religious education,” said Education CS George Magoha.

The candidates sat nine papers which included English, Kiswahili, science, mathematics, religious education, social studies and Kenya sign language. Others were English composition and Kiswahili insha.

Magoha said while it was expected that the 2020 KCPE performance would record a slump due to the disrupted school calendar as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, the situation was different.

“Many doomsayers predicted that candidates of the KCPE examination will perform dismally,” he said.

Additionally, the CS called for equal treatment of all gender, saying the increased enrollment of girls as opposed to boys was a worrying trend.

The CS expressed concern that the government's focus to empower the girl-child was increasingly disadvantaging the boy-child if the numbers in the examination enrollment were anything to go by.

"There are 20 counties where more girls were enrolled. This is a worrying trend because I must also defend the male child. The children should be treated equally," said Magoha.

The 20 counties include Isiolo, Meru, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Nairobi, Kwale, Elgeyo Marakwet, Kilifi, Bomet, Lamu and Siaya. Others are Tharaka Nithi, Bungoma, Kisii, Kisumu, Mombasa, Uasin Gishu, Makueni and Migori.

Girls dominated in the KCPE results released yesterday, where among the top 15 performers, they had eight slots. The number of female candidates who registered for the exams also surpassed the male candidates.

A total of 1,179,192 candidates sat the 2020 KCPE examinations. The number of male and female candidates increased by 46,868 (8.62 per cent) and 48,868 (9.25 per cent).

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