The 2022 Kenya Certificate of Primary Examinations results released recently calls for a multi-perspective interrogation.
It is time release of examination results departed from the boring and monotonous hue it has been characterised with since independence to a more informative approach. In short, the results need to tell us more. As stakeholders, we all need to take a retrospective approach on the results' testing, administration and scoring besides paying attention to the curriculum and how the same was implemented.
First let me do what unfortunately was a big omission on that day. Allow me to congratulate the immediate former CS George Magoha and his team of technocrats who steered the sector through the Covid-19 period. That aside, let's now interrogate the results from both a qualitative and quantitative dimension.
I want to begin with the latter. Some 1,233,852 candidates sat for the exams. Out of these, 9,443 attained over 400 marks out of the total 500,307,756 scored between 300 and 399 marks, 619,593 ranged between 200 and 299 marks while a whooping 296,336 candidates scored below 200 marks. But wait. What should really worry us is that some 724 candidates could not attain even a paltry 100 marks!
Collating this distribution enables us to either congratulate or poke holes into the results. Yes. We have the results. But did significant learning take place? Was cheating completely kept at bay? If some cases of cheating were unearthed, how many were not? Isn't it time we carried a study to hear from students, parents and teachers why they engage in this malfeasance?
Then we needed to be broken for the statistics further. How many of the candidates in the distribution were from academies and how many were from public schools? And even for those in the academies, how many were from high-end and which number came from the low-tier divide? A similar analysis needed to be made for the public schools.
We were told learners with special needs performed well. The reported number of candidates in this cohort stood at 2,417. This is too low considering that people with special needs should be two per cent of the whole population. What this means is that either we never captured learners with special needs in the inclusive setting or many children with special needs are not enrolled in our schools.
The other issue is on learners from the marginalized and conflict-hit areas. These learners like those with special education needs, should not be subjected to the same approach of scoring with their peers from other regions. Yet we were not given their performance or told the special measures that had been put in place to attain equity during examination management. Were there affirmative measures to cater for their interests? How did they perform? Are there plans in place to address their plight in subsequent exams?
Dr Ndaloh teaches at Koitaleel Samoei University College