The Ministry of Education is confused about how 12,424 candidates missed the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations. This number is double from those in 2019 where some 5530 candidates missed their tests.
The Education Ministry has attributed a majority of the cases to the Covid-19 pandemic effects that saw schools closed for almost a year. In other occurrences, massive job losses and economic decline saw some guardians and parents unable to provide for their families.
Magoha-led ministry is yet to account for the absenteeism witnessed on the 2020 school resumption. While announcing the KCPE results, professor Magoha downplayed the absenteeism, stating that it was insignificant compared to 1.18 million pupils who sat for the exams.
Teenage pregnancies, Early marriages, sickness, deaths, raids, and displacements by natural disasters are a few factors the ministry highlighted as a ground for the candidates missing the exams.
Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Julius Jwan on 17th of April 2021, said that a majority of the candidates were from pastoralist communities where girls had either been married off or were pregnant.
12,424 candidates missed the exams despite the government’s endeavors to ensure all of them sat for the tests. Examination papers were delivered to hospitals and police cells to ensure that all candidates did the exams.
The ministry has since revealed that 80 per cent of the absentees refused to go back to school 20 per cent of the absentees could not be traced as they had relocated.
The ministry said that all the 1.18 million candidates who did their 2020 KCPE exams will be absorbed into secondary schools.