MWALIMU ANDREW: We must appeal hacked KCPE results

Saturday November 25 2017

Following our school’s fairly respectable

Following our school’s fairly respectable performance in 2016 KCPE when we had a respectable mean score of 197.4, there were high expectations that our 2017 candidates would do much better. ILLUSTRATION| JOHN NYAGAH 

By MWALIMU ANDREW
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Following our school’s fairly respectable performance in 2016 KCPE when we had a respectable mean score of 197.4, there were high expectations that our 2017 candidates would do much better.

Enemies of development will start talking of how a mean score of 197.4 is low. These are people who have never stepped in a Statistics class.

I know they’ll say I have failed my several attempts at Statistics course at Kenyatta University, but at least I attended class and could not have left without picking a concept.

A mean of 197.4 may appear low, but once you remember we were the second best school in this region, then you will appreciate how good it was. If you consider that I remain the only teacher around who walks the talk of academic excellence, it will not be bad to call that performance as exemplary

Despite lack of support from our head teacher Bensouda, I took over the preparation for KCPE.

I created intimacy with the Standard Eight teachers to ensure that our candidates got the best.

We worked tirelessly day and night, in a bid to surpass last year’s mean score.

We had set a target of 265. In mid-July, on observing how the electioneering activities were greatly affecting school activities, I advised everyone that 265 marks would not be attainable and we revised it to 245. 

After the August 8 elections were done, I put in place great measures to recover the lost time.

From the response I saw from the pupils,  I even thought that perhaps 265 was still attainable – and told anyone who cared to listen that we may just still hit our earlier target. But Maraga and his network had other ideas, they annulled the presidential elections worsening the situation.

Once again I had no otherwise but to issue another warning, especially when you consider that there were so many things happening, and our school would be used as a an election centre.

I revised the target to 226.67, which was still much better that the previous years.

As you are aware, last week, using Nyayo, one of the best local architects in Mwisho wa Lami and beyond, I completed my house. And although Fiolina, resisted to move in the house, I have been spending most of the day there, cleaning the house and planting trees and flowers.

My plan is that when Fiolina eventually accepts to move in, she will find a home, not a house!

As such, I did not know much of what was happening outside, until last Tuesday when Nyayo came to see me. I thought he had come to see me as my architect.

“Where are the exam results?” he asked.

“Which exams?” I asked him. “KCPE will be out just before Christmas. Matiang’i releases the results early,”

“You are behind news Dre,” said Nyayo. “The exams are out already.”

“What do you mean? There is a problem. The marking was rushed and I am sure the results are fake.”

Shortly after, several parents came to see me. Given the state of economy of Mwisho wa Lami, not every parent had enough airtime to confirm marks. Kuya joined them at my place and we managed to check for a few students using his phone. None of them, including Index 1 had scored over 200 marks.

“I am not surprised,” I said. “This marking was rushed,” Kuya agreed with me. He taught maths in Class Eight and from the results we had checked, the best student in maths had 32 per cent!

I tried reaching Bensouda. After several attempts, she called back. I asked her if she had seen the results.

“You know the process, exams will be picked tomorrow, but those with money can check via SMS,” she said and disconnected her phone.

She had not reverted by Wednesday afternoon and parents were getting impatient.

“Most parents are asking why we have not shown them the results,” I told her when she picked my call.

“I can’t put up such shameful performance on the board,” she said.

“Some of the marks are shocking,” she said. “They are so low it looks like the candidates boycotted the exams but the examiners still went ahead to mark and award marks.”

Later that day, she put up the results on the school noticeboard. The best student had garnered 204 marks, while the next pupil had scored 177 marks. The third pupil scored 159 marks and most candidates had between 100 and 140 marks. Other than Rasto’s son, four other pupils had below 80 marks. The mean score was 138.8. These were the worst results ever recorded. A further analysis by Kuya revealed some strange trends. In maths, at least five students had less than 5 marks.

“This is impossible,” said Kuya. “I have never seen such.”

“This must be a great error,” added Nyayo.

“How can the students get less marks than Raila got in some polling stations yet he had boycotted the elections?” wondered Kuya.

“But if you look at someone like Nandwa, Rasto’s grandson, he never attended any maths lesson since Class Seven so I think it would be correct to say he boycotted the math paper,” I said.

We started sharing this on the staffroom WhatsApp group.

“This year’s KCPE came out fast because they were fully marked by a computer,” wrote Sella.

“Then someone must have hacked in the Knec servers to give us low marks,’ said Kuya.

“I can’t believe the English and Kiswahili marks,” wrote Sella. “But I am not surprised. When I heard that computers will mark composition and insha, I was very worried.”

“Was composition and insha marked by a computer?” I asked. Madam Ruth said actual people marked but Sella disagreed with her.

“I am a composition examiner but this year we were never called to mark composition,” said Sella.

“We have a whole two months before next term and KCSE has not even been completed, why the rush in releasing KCPE results when it clearly had glaring mistakes?”

We urged Bensouda to call for a staff meeting, which she did last Friday. She, however, asked that I chair the meeting. Only a few teachers attended. No teacher accepted the results, with each saying that the exams were interfered with.

“I did quite some great work in Social Studies,” said Nzomo. “I can’t believe no student got above 53.”

After further discussions, it was resolved that we appeal the results so that Knec can produce the actual scripts for all our candidates for remarking.

“Dre knows Nairobi well and all matters education. I proposed we give him this responsibility,” said Sella. While I did not know how to go about appealing, I accepted the responsibility.

News that we will be appealing the KCPE results calmed down otherwise very agitated parents. But before they get to have their scripts remarked, I need to know the procedure for appealing. Anyone out there who can assist?

***

One of my New Year Resolutions in 2017, and even last year, was to travel to Mombasa and go spend some time on the beach which I was told is a very good experience. This was hinged on us performing well in music or drama festivals and taking my team to nationals in coast. Well, that did not happen.

But an opportunity has presented itself for me to go to Mombasa to represent Mwisho wa Lami in a wedding for one of the daughters of the land. I am excited since we will be using the SGR train and staying in a big hotel in Mombasa.

 

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