Counties With Most Grade A’s in KCSE Exam Reveled
Last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results show that Kiambu and Nairobi counties accounted for nearly one-third of the ‘A’ grade produced.
Kiambu had a record 212 candidates with ‘A’ grade followed by Nairobi (133) while Trans Nzoia and Nandi tied for third place with 52 each.
The results had a whiff of controversy after schools in Gusiiland put on a stellar performance, leading to unverified claims that two counties had produced more than 900 candidates with a straight A.
However, our analysis reveals that Kisii and Nyamira had a total of 81 candidates with ‘A’ grade: Kisii had 51 of the top students while Nyamira had 30.
Debate on the validity of the exam results is not about to die down, with the Senate Education committee understood to be scheduling an inquiry into whether some schools had an unfair advantage in the tests.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has maintained that no test papers were leaked.
He has lauded the ministry for putting in place “tough measures that ensured malpractices were pre-empted.”
Speaking during the exam period, Mr Machogu said that the responsibility of guarding against cheating had been left to the individuals in charge of the tests “thereby ensuring none of them could put their jobs at risk through condoning irregularities.”
When Machogu released the KCSE exam results on January 20, he said the 1,146 students who obtained ‘A’ grade accounted for 0.13 per cent of all the 881,16 candidates.
In his statement, Machogu said that in the 2021 KCSE exam, 1,138 or 0.14 per cent of candidates had an A plain.
In last year’s exam, the number of candidates with the minimum university entry qualification of grade C+ and above rose to 173,345 compared with 145,776 in 2021, the Cabinet secretary said.
The number of candidates with a mean grade of D+ and above in last year’s exam stood at 522,588 compared with 442,251 in 2021.
While the quality of grades improved, Machogu said more boys scored the top ‘A’ grade (875) compared to girls (271).
“Candidates who scored A- were 4,445 boys and 1,962 females, while those who scored B+ were 9,578 boys and 6,104 girls,” the Cabinet secretary said.
Statistics by the examinations body showed that out of the 95,154 candidates who scored C, 49,191 were girls while 45,963 were boys.
Of the total C- (minus) scored in the exam, 62,599 were female and 56,469 were male. Some 70,238 female candidates and 64,783 male candidates scored D+, while 79,935 girls and 75,545 boys managed ‘D’ grade.
But more boys scored ‘E’ grade, where out of 30,822 E’s recorded, 18,062 were males and 12,760 were females. Machogu said the number of candidates who got ‘E’ grade in 2022 declined significantly from 46,151 in 2021.
“This clearly leads us to conclude that most of the candidates scored grades of higher quality. All the remaining candidates are eligible to join Tvet institutions, teacher training colleges, medical training institutions and other form of colleges,” he said.
The recent release of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam results has sparked controversy and raised questions about the integrity of the examination process.
Education stakeholders have expressed concern over the sudden and significant improvement in mean scores posted by some schools, with some posting an improvement of more than one point.
This has led to accusations of cheating, despite Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu’s assurance that there were no cases of cheating.
Several little-known schools, such as Nyambaria High and Rigoko Day Mixed Secondary, posted exceptional results, surpassing traditional high-performing schools.
Schools like Cardinal Otunga Mosocho and Asumbi Girls, which had previously seen a decline in performance, also performed exceptionally well.
Rigoko Day Mixed Secondary School from Nyamira County posted a mean score of 9.0, up from 5.73 in 2021, an improvement of 3.3 points.
Nyambaria High School in Kisii County posted a mean score of 10.897 compared to the previous year’s 9.308, an improvement of 1.58 points.
Cardinal Otunga High School Mosocho in Kisii County had a mean score of 10.76, and Asumbi Girls in Homa Bay County posted a mean score of 10.371, with all 434 students getting B- (minus) and above.
These three schools cumulatively produced 840 learners with a mean grade of A and A-(minus).
The sudden and significant improvement in scores posted by these schools has led to doubts about the authenticity of the results.
Kakamega Senator Bonny Khalwale was among the first to voice his concerns, stating, “We hope the emerging allegations of cheating in the 2022 KCSE are just mere allegations. The collapse of the education system is the collapse of a nation.”
Prof Philip Amuyunzu, a lecturer at Masinde Muliro University of Science and Technology, also expressed his concerns, stating that improvement should be gradual and must reflect a normal curve.
He added that last year’s results were skewed, which forces students to drop courses when they get to institutions of higher learning.
Aquinas High School Chief Principal Stephen Gathii also weighed in on the matter, stating that improving a school’s mean grade within a short time was not a walk in the park.
He added that it takes hard work, commitment, and dedication from all players to achieve such a feat.
Tunza Mtoto Foundation Executive Officer Ouko Muthoni also called on the government to investigate the matter, stating, “We should not sweep the issue of exam cheating under the carpet. We don’t want to go back to where we were in 2016.”
Nanyuki High School, which was the second-most sought-after school in Form One selection for the third year running, posted a mean score of 8.8 from the previous year’s 8.739, and 8.683 in 2020.
The school’s principal, Oliver Minishi, stated that it takes time to make a major improvement, and that the school had taken four years to move the mean score up by 0.12 points.
Maurice Mutisya of Zizi Africa Foundation also called on the government to investigate the matter, stating that a big shift like that requires a focus of attention to understand what may have been done differently that may have resulted in such an improvement.
He added that even though the ministry has said that there were no cases of cheating, “the results are evident.”
Former Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha had previously fought hard to eradicate cases of exams cheating that had become rampant.
The government must now take swift action to investigate the matter and ensure that the integrity
Counties With Most Grade A’s in KCSE Exam Reveled