City boy tops with 428 marks as KCPE comes to an end


Michael Warutere of Riara Springs in Nairobi’s Imara Daima scored 428 marks to emerge the top candidate as four-decade-old KCPE exams came to an end. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Michael Warutere of Riara Springs in Nairobi’s Imara Daima scored 428 marks to emerge the top candidate as four-decade-old KCPE exams came to an end.

He was followed by Jacinta Bethany Khasungu of St Annes Girls Mumias, Kakamega County, who scored 427 marks.

The candidates closed the chapter of the national examinations that have for decades been marked with cutthroat competitions as learners scramble for higher grades to secure prime secondary schools.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu yesterday said the release of the results is the end of KCPE examinations that have often sparked wild celebrations in many parts of the country.

The 2023 KCPE results were however a drop from previous years.

Machogu said the top candidate scooped 428 marks, a decline from 2022 when the top candidate scored 431 marks.

Overall, Machogu said some 8,523 candidates got 400 marks and above, which is a decline from the 9,443 candidates in 2022.

The number of students who scored between 300 and 399 marks increased from 307,756 in 2022 to 352,782 candidates in this year’s exam.

The bulk of the candidates – 658,278 – scored between 200 and 299 marks, also signifying an increase from the 619,593 candidates in 2022 KCPE.

Of concern however, is the significant increase in the number of low scores in the examination.

The number of candidates who scored between 100 and 199 marks increased to 383,025. Last year, 296,336 scored the same marks.

There was also an increase of those that scored between 001 and 099 marks to 2,060 this year. Last year, there were only 724.

Machogu said the examination witnessed only two cases of malpractice, with one of the candidates found with unauthorised notes in the examination room while the other was found with a mobile phone in the examination room. 

The good news, however, is that some 9,354 candidates who did not sit the KCPE examination will have special tests in January. Machogu said the learners will take a first of its kind special examination that will be recognised as their final KCPE mark.

He said this has been necessitated by the fact that this is the last KCPE examination thus students will not get another chance to take the test again.

A total of 1,406,557candidates sat the examination in 28,533 examination centres across the country; 721,544 were male and 685,017 female candidates.

As the country bade farewell to the KCPE, MPs wanted the challenges bedevilling the new curriculum addressed.

“As we exit the KCPE and KPSEA comes in, there are a number of teething issues which I know the presidential working party addressed so let us embrace it. It is going to ensure the talent of the child is key, not only academics,” Julius Melly, the National Education Committee chairperson said.

Joe Nyutu, Senate Education Committee chairperson said: “As we usher in the CBC, let’s ensure that never again will learners be assessed on only one parameter of academics because all of us are gifted differently, talented differently and that’s why I’m an ardent supporter of CBC.”

Speaking yesterday, Dr David Njengere, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) chief executive, said the 39-year journey of KCPE has seen some 26 million candidates take the examination, among them, some 103,000 non-citizens

Form One Placement

And the other good news is that all the candidates who sat KCPE will be admitted in Form One.

Machogu said Form One placement exercise which will be conducted for a two-week period will start on November 27.

“The government has enough capacity to accommodate all the candidates who sat their KCPE examination in 2023. Therefore, all parents should take advantage of 100 per cent transition to enroll their children for Form One,” Machogu said.

In the results, Machogu said that this year, male candidates cemented their dominance in the performance of Mathematics and Science, outdoing their female counterparts in this year’s examination

Female candidates, on the other hand, managed to perform better in English, Kiswahili and Kenyan Sign Language

The CS also hailed the journey the KCPE examination had taken in trying to bridge gender parity.

He said that the number of male and female candidates sitting the KCPE exams has broken even since 2013, a departure from the previous years when more male students took the examination.

Capitation to schools

To ensure smooth operations in schools when they reopen, Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said the National Treasury will disburse capitation funds in January.

This comes after continuous outcry by school heads over delays and failure of full release of the capitation that support the Free Primary and Free Day Secondary Education programmes.

Kipsang hailed teachers for the role they played in the successful administration of the KCPE examinations over the years.

He added that examiners who took part in the marking of KCPE exams had already been paid, a departure from last year when the process of remunerating examiners faced delays.

“I want to thank our teachers for the much they have put in, there was a time we were running four terms in an academic calendar,” Kipsang said.

And as the KCPE exits stage, Machogu said the government is ready for the transition to CBC.

He said the ministry is preparing a Sessional Paper to be submitted to Parliament for consideration to anchor the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms.

The pioneer class of the CBC is set to proceed to Grade 8 – the second grade under Junior Secondary School– when schools reopen in January.

They will be joined by a new cohort of learners from primary school who will enter Grade 7 in January.

Machogu indicates that the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment results will be sent to school.

To support the CBC, Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia indicated that teachers are being retooled.