Public schools performed better than their private counterparts in the just released 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations results.
This is despite the obvious infrastructural challenges and the COVID-19 pandemic that saw the school calendar disrupted for more than seven months.
This was the first time in the history of the national examinations that results were being released in April.
This obviously coming after the academic calendar was significantly interrupted by the global COVID-19 pandemic which equally interrupted and disrupted major global events.
Despite the setback, the country managed to get back on track as 1,179,192 candidates sat their KCPE examinations across 28,460 examination centers.
Releasing the results, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha revealed that the overall performance by candidates in the 2020 KCPE exams had improved compared to 2019 despite the highest candidate this year scoring 433 out of a possible 500 marks compared to 440 in 2019.
“For example, whereas 1,393 candidates scored between 01 and 99 marks in the 2019 KCPE, that number 35 went down to only 307 in the 2020 KCPE. This was an indicator that most candidates scored better grades than the previous year,” said Magoha.
Compared to recent years when private schools dominated headlines, scooping top slots, the tables have now turned, with public schools scooping 10 out of the top 15 overall slots in the examinations.
With this, Magoha said that, “I am impressed that public schools have shone in the 2020 KCPE.”
In this year’s exams, female candidates also took eight places in the top 15 slots including the first overall slots.
Meanwhile, the number of candidates with Special Needs was higher in 2020 (2,675 candidates) compared to that of 2019 (2,407 candidates).
“The categories with the highest number of candidates with special needs in the 2020 KCPE examination were those with physical disabilities (1,201), followed by those with hearing impairment (738),” he said.
Despite earlier concerns from education stakeholders and more so by candidates themselves, Magoha thanked teachers for the critical roles they played in preparing candidates for the examinations, “in the most difficult of circumstances,” in the country’s history.”
“Many doomsayers predicted that candidates of the 2020 KCPE Examination will perform dismally. The good news, however, is that performance of candidates in the 2020 KCPE is commendable and has shown no remarkable difference from the performance of the past years.”
Statistics comparing the performance in subjects in 2019 and 2020 revealed an improvement in five papers during the exams.
These are: English Composition, Kiswahili Lugha, Kenyan Sign Language Objective, Mathematics and Religious Education.
Five other papers, English Language, Kiswahili Insha, Kenyan Sign Language Composition, Science and Social Studies, recorded a drop in performance in the year 2020 when compared when compared to 2019.
As has been the pattern in the recent years, female candidates outdid their male counterparts in English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign language while the male candidates performing slightly better than their colleagues in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Religious Education.
KCPE examinations results will now be collected by respective schools from the Sub County education offices while candidates are advised to collect their results from their respective examination centers.
Individual candidates’ results can also be accessed by sending a candidate’s index number followed by the initials KCPE through a short Message service (SMS) to 20076.
“Head teachers will be required to download and print the on-line results slips for candidates in their schools and authenticate the same before they are released to parents, guardians or candidates,” the CS Education said.
The ministry of education has since conducted an audit of all new and existing vacancies in all private and public schools, guaranteeing all animates a slot in Secondary School.
The Form one selection exercise for all categories of schools is meanwhile expected to take place on May 28, 2021.