West Pokot County scored the highest mean grade in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination in the last three years. It is also the only county that managed a pass grade during that period.
In 2016, West Pokot scored a mean score of 5.1 points or grade C- in the exams, a significant drop from 7.0 or C+ the previous year and 6.8 or C in 2014.
A quarter of candidates who sat the test in the county scored C+ and above, the university cut-off grade. But this was a major decline in performance compared to two previous years when more than half of the candidates scored at least C+. However, the 5,121 candidates only constituted one per cent of all candidates in the country in 2016. West Pokot was followed by Elgeyo-Marakwet with a mean score of 4.7 (D+) and Siaya with a mean score of 4.6 (D+). One in five candidates in both counties attained grade C+ and above. Three per cent or 15,301 candidates sat the examination in Siaya and one per cent or 7,403 in Elgeyo Marakwet.
One in five students in the capital city scored at least C+ in the examination, a decrease from one in three in the two previous years
Nakuru, which had the largest share of candidates that stood at 31,498 (six per cent), also had a mean grade D+ of 4.2 points.
Nairobi which had 25,258 candidates (four per cent) had an average grade D+ of 4.0 points. One in five students in the capital city scored at least C+ in the examination, a decrease from one in three in the two previous years. Tana River recorded the lowest mean grade D- of 2.3 points.
Turkana County’s candidates increased almost by half, from 2,366 in 2014 to 3,519 in 2016, the biggest increase in any county. Two other counties, Samburu and West Pokot, recorded a candidature increase of over 45 per cent from 2014-2016, a positive development that suggests more children in these semi-arid areas accessed education.
Nine counties Bomet, Elgeyo Marakwet, Garissa, Mandera, Marsabit, Tana River, Trans Nzoia and Uasin Gishu registered a candidate increase between 30 per cent and 39 per cent over the same period.
The number of candidates increased between 20 per cent to 29 per cent in another 14 counties including Bungoma, Busia, Embu, Homa Bay, Kajiado, Kericho, Kirinyaga, Kitui, Migori, Nakuru, Nandi, Narok, Nyandarua and Siaya.
The number of candidates also climbed by between 11 per cent and 19 per cent in 17 other counties which were Bungoma, Isiolo, Kakamega, Kilifi, Kisii, Kisumu, Laikipia, Lamu, Machakos, Makueni, Meru, Mombasa, Muranga, Nairobi, Taita Taveta, Tharaka Nthi and Vihiga.
The candidates in four counties including Kiambu, Nyamira, Nyeri and Kwale increased by less than 10 per cent. Kwale recorded the smallest increase of only one per cent from 5,920 in 2014 to 5,964 in 2016. In 2016, Isiolo had the fewest number of candidates with 1,127, followed by Kwale with 1, 278 and Tana River with 1,384.