Why schools flopped in KCPE exam - Daily Nation

Exam report shows why schools flopped in KCPE

Tuesday March 20 2018

KCPE exams

A pupil sitting KCPE exam in 2017. Details of how all the country’s 26,000 primary schools performed in the 2017 KCPE examination have been released. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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Details of how all the country’s 26,000 primary schools performed in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination have been released.

The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) Monday unveiled the detailed school-by-school analysis, which shows how candidates performed in the examination, the second to be done under stringent regulations that were introduced in 2016 by then Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i.

It now means that schools can know how they ranked countrywide per subject mean, overall average, and where they excelled or flopped.

In 2017, only seven public schools made it to the list of the best 100 schools in the KCPE examination.

The list of the top schools, which had a mean score of 370, was dominated by private institutions, which are better-equipped and have adequate teachers and classrooms — giving students from wealthy homes an edge in the race for top national school slots.


Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang Monday asked teachers to study the reports and fix the gaps that exist in performance in national examinations.

Dr Kipsang said the reports would show schools in which area their candidates were not performing well so that teachers can know how to address them.

The reports also show the subject means of each school, indicating how they compare with the national averages.

The documents also show the misconceptions that candidates have on specific topics, where they perform poorly.

Some of the issues that have been cited for poor performance in national examinations, include poor syllabus coverage, absenteeism and lack of mastery of content by teachers.

Additionally, the reports recommend the areas where teachers can focus on for quality learning and better performance by the pupils.


Individual schools can access the results through their online accounts from the Knec website.

“Each school can now know its strengths and weaknesses,” Knec chief executive Mercy Karogo said at a meeting to receive feedback from a team that went round the country last week to inspect the quality of learning.

A report prepared by the Directorate of Quality Assurance and Standards in the Ministry of Education last year  identified the use of sheng, failure to follow instructions, poor time management skills and rushing to answer questions before understanding them among the shortcomings that cost candidates dearly in national examinations.

It pointed out that some candidates did not read and follow instructions, while others failed national examinations because they misunderstood and misinterpreted the questions or were distracted by anxiety.

Last year, about 1 million candidates sat the KCPE examination and Kathigiri B Primary School in Meru County was the top public school, with a mean score of 404, but it was ranked seventh nationally.