Technology Hastens K.C.P.E Marking
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Crowning Moment for 2018 KCPE Candidates 

A total of 1,060,703 candidates, received their fate as the 2018 KCPE results were released Monday afternoon by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed at the Star of the Sea Primary School, Mombasa County.

The exam was released in less than three weeks after the 1st November completion, greatly facilitated by the acquisition of 20 new scanning machines by the Kenya National Examination Council, keeping on with a trend where the examination body is pushing for quick disposal of results in an endeavour to clean up the process. In the past the exam was released after Christmas, two months after completion and more than a month after marking. But the holding period created room for unscrupulous KNEC officials who altered grades in exchange for cash, contributing to the widespread theft in exams.

The new optical mark readers replaced 20 old scanners that were purchased more than 17 years ago. They work by taking a pile of scripts at once that can be marked from both sides. Since last year the council has been printing the name, centre name and index number on the examination materials for quick marking. Two candidates, Olive Mwea from Riara School, Nairobi County and Rawlings Odhiambo from Hill School, Kakamega County were declared the best candidates in this year’s KCPE examinations after they both tied scoring 453 marks two marks shy of last year’s best student Goldalyn Kakuya of St Anne’s Junior School, Lubao, Kakamega County who garnered 455 marks.

It was evident that private schools have continued to dominate in the national exam as compared to public schools, a trend that has been observed for years since the introduction of free primary education in 2003 a move that saw increased numbers in public schools against few teachers and inadequate facilities.

While releasing the results, Education Cabinet Secretary noted a significant improvement in this year’s exam as compared to last years. 12, 273 candidates scored 401and above as compared to the two previous years where we had 9,849 in 2017 and 5,143 in 2016. The number of those who garnered 301 and above also improved to 228,414 from 217,307 and 207,141 in the year 2017 and 2016 respectively.

This year registered a drop in the number of candidates who scored 100 and below with 2,177 a fall from 2,360 and 6,747 in 2017 and 2016 respectively. Candidates with special needs also excelled with the top scoring 446 marks a climb up from 426 last year.

Among the trends noted in this year’s exams was the increase in the number of female candidates. Out of 1,052,364 candidates who sat for the exam 525,070/49% were females against 527,294/ 50.10% males a clear indication that the country is on the path to realising gender parity.

23 out of the 47 counties enrolled more girls than boys in primary schools. Some of the counties with the highest female population were; Kakamega, Nairobi, Meru, Bungoma, Siaya, Kisii, Kitui, Tharaka Nithi, Kericho among others.

Nonetheless, the overall performance is still in favour of boys with the girls only outshining the boys in languages (English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language). The male candidates, on the other hand, performed better in Mathematics, Science, Social Studies and Religious Studies.

According to the CS, an unbecoming trend is the number of students who fail to write their exams. 8347 cases were recorded this year a 14% climb-down from last year’s 9,726.

With the early results release, form one selection is slated to start on the 3rd of December and qualifiers expected to join respective schools in January 2019. Unlike in the past, form one selection will only be made once without a second selection as has been the case in the past

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