The academic gap between girls and boys is narrowing if the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination results are anything to go by.
The results released by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha show that of the 826,807 candidates who sat the 2021 KCSE tests, 421,318 were male while 405,489 were female, representing 50.96 and 49.04 per cent of the total candidature respectively.
Although the results indicate that the number of male candidates who attain minimum university entry points of C+ and above is higher than female candidates, it is obvious girls are catching up in exam registration and performance.
“We have had gender parity with only a difference of 1.9 per cent,” said Magoha.
Those who scored Grade A were 789 male candidates and 349 female candidates representing an increase from 589 boys and 304 girls who scored the top grade in the 2020 KCSE exam.
Among the 15 top candidates, five were girls and 10 were boys. Jeriel Ndeda Obura of Mang’u High School was the top male candidate with 87.167 while Muendo Cicily Mutheu of Kenya High School was the top girl with 87.088 points representing a difference gap of 0.081 points.
Mang’u High School produced a majority of top 15 candidates while Kenya High School produced a majority of the top female candidates.
Other schools that produced the top candidates were Alliance High School, St. Joseph's Boys High School -Kitale, Light Academy, Kakamega School, Kipsigis Girls' High School, Strathmore School and Kapsabet Boys.
Out of the 145,145 candidates who attained Grade C+ and above, 80,059 were boys and 65,086 were girls. Those who scored below C+ were 340,403 females and 341,259 male candidates.
However, more male candidates scored the lowest Grade E where out of the 46,151 Grades E recorded, 26,578 were males and 19,573 were females.
Although the CS did not release performance results for specific subjects, he said 11 subjects recorded a significant improvement in performance compared to 19 subjects that recorded a significant improvement in performance in 2020, hence a decline in performance in 2021.
“There was no significant change in performance in seven of the subjects offered during the 2021 KCSE examination,” said Magoha.
Unlike 2020 KCSE exam, special schools had no female candidates with Grade A in the 2021 exam and only one with A- while two male candidates scored A-.
Among the 15 top special needs candidates, Reuben Osoro Branton of Kapsabet Boys was the top male candidate with Grade A while Precious Zawadi Machuka of Moi Girls-Eldoret was the top special female candidate.