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Audit of 2016 KCSE exams necessary

By James Kihali | January 5th 2017

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has done very well and deserves accolades.

From impromptu visits to schools and changing school programmes to managing the 2016 KCPE and KCSE examinations by cutting out cheating, his work rate and achievements in the short time he has headed the ministry are exemplary.

However, that does not mean he is flawless. As the KCSE exams were being administered, Dr Matiang’i was quoted saying: “I want to see if they will get those 200 As they have been getting.” He was referring to the top schools that scored 200-plus As in the 2015 KCSE examinations.

His statement begs the question: Was he out to justify something and hence had a predetermined mindset going into the marking of exam scripts? Did he have a target number of As he wanted to see achieved?

For the entire nation to produce only 141 As, with or without exam cheating, is unrealistic. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, exam cheating was rare and candidates were far fewer than today. But the number of Division Ones (call them the As of today) dwarfed the top scores of 2016. That is why an audit of last year’s exams is necessary.

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