Congestion In Schools blamed For Mass Failure In KCSE Exam
The Ministry of Education has been tasked with addressing infrastructure and congestions issues in secondary schools.
The issues are being blamed for the poor performance of students in national examinations over the last four years.
According to the Regional Education Learning Initiative (Reli), a peer learning and policy influencing network comprised of 70 educational organizations in East Africa, the rise in poor KCSE exam performance is concerning.
More than half of the students received a D+ on the exams last year. Mr Samuel Otieno, Reli’s country lead for the consortium, stated that there is a lack of adequate space and infrastructure in many institutions, with most girls’ schools having fewer biology, physics, and chemistry laboratories than boys’ schools.
He also stated that the acute shortage of teachers in secondary schools is a major challenge and a contributor to students’ poor performance.
Kenya currently has a teacher shortage of over 100,000 in both primary and secondary schools.
“Expand the infrastructure urgently in most schools. School heads can be innovative to use temporary structures as classrooms and dormitories, where possible,” Mr Otieno told the Sunday Nation.
According to the organization, student performance is influenced by socioeconomic, psychological, and environmental factors. “Track schools and regions that consistently underperform to identify the causes of poor performance and implement corrective measures.”
“Ensure adequate support for public schools, which serve a greater share of learners from marginalised and disadvantaged communities including learners with disabilities and learners from poor communities,” he said.
In the 2021 KCSE exams, 495,686 students (60%) received D+ or lower grades. Of these, 46,159 (5.5%) received a grade E. The exams were taken by 826,807 people.
Mr. Otieno stated that over the last four years, 67% of all candidates have received a D+ or lower.
Reli has asked the government to ensure equality in Form One placement and teacher assignment to schools.
According to Mr. Otieno, trends show that the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) posts the majority of teachers to national and extra-county secondary schools, leaving the rest in severe shortage. He stated that this is despite the fact that 75% of students attend day schools.
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Dr Benta Abuya, a scientist at the Africa Population Health Research Centre (APHRC), stated that despite Education CS George Magoha informing the country that the transition rate from primary to secondary school would be 98 percent in 2021, the most recent Economic Survey Report (2022) stated that the transition rate from primary to secondary school had declined from 91 percent in 2020 to 78.5 percent in 2021.
“There is an anticipated admission crisis as 10,000 secondary schools will receive 1.2 million candidates who sat the 2021 KCPE examinations,” she said
According to Dr. Abuya, the government should devote all resources to addressing the Form One admission crisis.