There was a significant drop in performance in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination compared with last year.
Speaking after receiving a comprehensive report of the 2016 results from Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i ahead of their official release, President Kenyatta confirmed that there was a significant drop in performance this year.
President Kenyatta, however, maintained that this notwithstanding, the results by and large indicated a normal performance curve, a clear indication that both the examination marking and final results are credible.
The drop in performance comes barely a month after the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) warned that there would be a drop in the number of A's posted during the examination compared with previous years.
Speaking in Kisumu last month, Knec boss George Magoha warned that the number of students with A's would drop because of tighter quality controls.
This, he said, would be a result of tighter monitoring and supervision of the 2016 examination.
"The reason why you have seen a lot of government involvement is because we have gotten into a stage where Kenyan examination papers are being questioned elsewhere and holders even re-examined elsewhere. That is to say that our certificate papers are about to become worthless," he revealed.
TOO MANY A's
He added that in any population, the "A materials" fall between five and 10 per cent, and therefore Kenya being a normal country cannot keep producing A's that surpass what would be expected in a normal distribution curve.
"Anything outside that bracket (of five to 10 per cent) is suspicious or extraordinary and for a school to have 96.6 per cent scoring A, then that is stupidity of the highest level and nobody should be associated with such," he stated.
Speaking after receiving the report from Dr Matiang’i on Thursday, President Kenyatta directed the Ministry of Education to put in place effective plans to institutionalise the ongoing reforms in the sector to ensure sustainability and entrenchment.
He emphasised that there is no room for sliding back on the ongoing reforms, saying no effort should be spared in ensuring the ministry moves to the next parts of the sector to safeguard proper utilisation of exchequer resources, and eradicate wastage and bureaucratic inertia that often lead to failure in the achievement of set targets.
To enhance efficiency in the utilisation of resources, the President directed the ministry to speed up the implementation of the planned Education Information Management System to ensure that education data in the country is accurate, current and available to facilitate accurate decision-making and deployment of resources.
The President directed that Knec cease using index numbers by 2017 and instead ensure all registered examination candidates have unique personal identifiers in student registration numbers that they will use throughout their academic life, at all levels, in the Kenyan education system.