CS Magoha’s speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results

CS Magoha's speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results


• Chief Administrative Officers: Dr. Sarah Ruto, Mumina Bonaya and Hassan Noor;

• Principal Secretaries at the Ministry of Education: Drs. Julius Jwan and Margaret Mwakima, Mr. Alfred Cheruiyot;

• Chairperson, Kenya National Examinations Council, Dr. John Onsati;

• Chief Executive Officer, Teachers Service Commission, Dr. Nancy Macharia;

• Chief Executive Officer, Kenya National Examinations Council, Dr. Mercy Karogo;

• KNEC Council Members;

• Senior Officers from the Ministry of Education;

• Representatives from Teachers’ Unions: KNUT and KUPPET, the Kenya Private Schools Association, the Kenya National Parents and Teachers Associations and the Heads of Associations for primary and secondary;

• Members of the Media Fraternity;

• Ladies and Gentlemen;

I start by thanking God the Almighty for enabling us to hold today’s ceremony. I cannot take for granted His abundance, His gift of life and His enormous blessings to our country and all of our citizens that has made it possible to sit here and celebrate the hard work of our 1,179,192 million Kenya Certificate    of Primary Education Examinations  candidates.  

This  looked  like  an unimaginable dream a few months ago.

It is indeed a special moment for all of us – both in its timing and atmosphere. It is the first time that we are releasing results of the KCPE in April. And it is the first time we are releasing the results when our country  is  busy  managing  the  effects  and spread of the COVID-19, a virus that is foreign to the whole world.

When the COVID-19 pandemic befell the country in March 2020, the education sector was one that got completely disoriented. The future of our 15 million basic education learners seemed thrown deep into turmoil. We were simply at a crossroads.

Because we were fighting a disease, which confounded even top grade medics, I being one of them, we did not know how long our schools would remain shut following the extended closure that was meant to help the country to manage the pandemic. Indeed, many people predicted doom and gloom for the education sector.

But after months of soul searching, and following extensive consultations with our education sector players, we decided to bite the bullet – by adopting a phased reopening of schools  that  gave priority to Grade Four, Standard Eight and Form Four candidates. Although this selective reopening was informed by science and drew from the advice of the Ministry of Health, there were those who castigated us for the move, claiming that we were putting the lives of our children in jeopardy, making them guinea pigs.

My sector players stood firm and put their trust in God, agreeing that “we all stood to be damned for all our painful but necessary decisions, and that we were still going to be damned if we didn’t do anything”. We chose to make decisions for which we were prepared to take full responsibility for.

Thanks to the Grace of God, our schools remained safe allowing us to be here today to celebrate the results of our risky decisions.

I wish to thank His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for his wise leadership and for trusting me and my education sector stakeholders. Over the challenging one year, the President has given unfettered priority to the education sector, always guiding and supporting us to ensure the gains made in guaranteeing a bright future for the Kenyan child are not lost.  

I also thank Teachers Service Commission CEO, Dr Nancy Macharia for effective management of the teachers who braved the COVID-19 pandemic to return to schools and former Early Learning and Basic Education Principal Secretary Dr. Belio Kipsang.

I  wish  to  commend  the  efforts  of  the  entire Government officers who work under the Multi- Agency Examination Monitoring Team, anchored on the firm leadership of my colleagues at the Ministries of Interior and National Coordination of Government Dr. Fred Matiang’i and ICT   Joe Mucheru.


As part of our efforts to recover the lost time following the long closure due to COVID-19 last year, we reorganised term dates for schools in a manner that would help us recover the lost time.

As a result, we are scheduled to reopen schools for Third Term on May  10th   2021  for all classes except Grade Four and Form One. We are hopeful that  we  will  open  as  scheduled  although  we continue   monitoring   the   country’s   COVID-19 situation and the schools’ preparedness to adhere to all Ministry of Health guidelines of managing the virus.

This morning, His  Excellency the President has directed that all teachers and support staff in our schools  be  allowed  to  take  up  the  COVID-19 vaccination as part of the measures to ensure that our schools are safe from the virus.

At the same time, the Ministry will immediately start preparations to mount the 2021 KCPE and KCSE examinations, which will be administered early next year.


Many doomsayers predicted that candidates of the 2020 KCPE Examination will perform dismally. The good news, however, is that performance of candidates in the 2020 KCPE is commendable and has shown no remarkable difference from the performance of the past years. I wish to commend teachers   who   worked   hard   to   prepare   the candidates  for  the  examinations  in  the  most

difficult circumstances ever seen in our country. I also thank the Government of President Uhuru Kenyatta for working with development partners to avail us a Sh1.1 billion COVID-19 recovery fund part of which enabled KNEC to conduct an entry assessment as soon as the candidates reopened. The assessment provided useful indicators to teachers on the knowledge levels of the Standard Eight candidates once they

resumed school after their long break. I wish to commend the teachers for utilising the assessment results to prepare the candidates ahead of the examinations,  a  move  that  has  led  to  the impressive results that we are celebrating today.

Indeed, as we traversed the country during the monitoring exercise of the examination, we came face to face with confident and cheerful students who appeared to have been prepared well.

This wonderful class have defied all the challenges they went through last year to post impressive results in their KCPE examinations.


All the 1,179,192 candidates whose results we are releasing today will be admitted to secondary schools under the Government’s 100 per cent transition policy. I wish to assure the country that the Ministry has already conducted an audit of all new and existing vacancies in all our private and public schools to enable us to admit all learners under the Free Day Secondary Education programme.

We are determined to work with the relevant agencies to ensure that no candidate misses a place in secondary school.

In the meantime, I urge all parents and guardians to take good care of their children so that all of them are able to take up their Form One spaces in the schools that they will be admitted to.


To ensure that all candidates are placed in schools of their choice – based on performance and available vacancies – the Ministry of Education will employ a water-tight system that will be both credible and of high integrity. The actual Form

One selection exercise for all categories of

schools will take place from May 28th, 2021.


For a second year running, the Government will offer 9,000 scholarships under the Elimu Scholarship Programme, which was initiated in 2019.

Reports from all our public schools show that the 2019 KCPE candidates who benefitted from th programme are doing exceptionally well in the schools they were admitted to.

I wish to sincerely thank His Excellency President Uhuru Kenyatta for his intervention  that enabled us to  extend the scholarship programme to cover candidates from informal settlements in urban areas, which were initially not covered under the programme.

I also thank the Equity Bank Management led by Dr James Mwangi for working with the Ministry to effectively manage the scholarship programme.

The Ministry will soon announce details of the process of applying for the scholarship programme, which is meant for candidates from needy and vulnerable households.


In the administration of the 2020 KCPE Examinations, the Government sustained its robust security arrangements through the Multi-Sectoral Examinations Monitoring Team.

These measures ensured that cases of irregularities during the sitting of the examinations, and during the marking process, were either stamped out or nipped in the bud before they could happen. For example, five cases of impersonation were detected during the examination process while seven candidates were found  in  possession  of  pre-prepared  notes  in examination rooms.


As I have noted, we are today releasing results for 1,179,192 candidates who sat the examination in 28,460 centres across the country.

All these candidates have qualified to be admitted to secondary schools. I congratulate them for this success.

Of these candidates, 590,450 (50.07%) were boys and 588,742 (49.93%) girls. In the 2019

KCPE, 1,083,456 candidates sat the examination. It means the number of candidates who sat increased by 95,736 (8.84%) in 2020 when compared to 2019.

Male and female candidates increased by 46,868  (8.62%) and 48,868 (9.25%) respectively.

According to the data, the following 20 counties registered more female than male candidates: Isiolo, Meru, Vihiga, Kakamega, Busia, Nairobi, Kwale, Elgeyo Marakwet, Siaya, Tharaka Nithi, Kisii, Kisumu, Bungoma, Kilifi, Lamu, Bomet, Mombasa, Uasin Gishu, Makueni and Migori. This is an increase from 18 counties that registered more female than male candidates in 2019.

The number of candidates who were absent slightly increased from 6,272 (0.58%) in the year 2019 to 12,424 (1.04%) in the year 2020 KCPE examination.


The number of registered candidates who were 12 years and below increased from 20,086 (1.84%) in 2019 to 26,378 (2.21%) in 2020.

The  counties  which  had  the  highest  entry  for candidates who were 12 years and below for the year 2020 KCPE examination were: West Pokot (999), Bomet (1,595), Baringo (1,013), Kericho (1,469), and Bungoma (2,556).

The highest number of candidates were in the appropriate age bracket of 13-14 years, (806,720; 67.70%), a trend which has been replicated in the last five years.

The counties which had the highest cases of candidates who were 19 years and above were Turkana (3,062), Garissa (1,680), Kwale (2,441); Kilifi (3,672), and Busia (1,692).


In the 2020 KCPE examination, overall performance improved compared to 2019. Although the mark of the highest candidate dropped from 440 to 433 in

2020, the mean average performance and quality of grades for all candidates is higher. For example, whereas  1,393  candidates  scored  between  01 and 99 marks in the 2019 KCPE, that number went down to only 307 in the 2020 KCPE.

This was an indicator that most candidates scored better grades than the previous year.

In particular, I am impressed that public schools have shone in the 2020 KCPE, scooping 10 of the top 15 overal slots in the Examination. Additionally, of the top 15 places, female candidates have taken eight places, including the first three overall slots as follows:

CS Magoha's speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results
CS Magoha's speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results


I am happy to announce that five papers recorded an improvement in performance in the year 2020 when compared to 2019. These are: English Composition, Kiswahili Lugha, Kenyan Sign Language Objective, Mathematics and Religious Education.

Five other papers, English Language, Kiswahili

Insha, Kenyan Sign Language Composition, Science and Social Studies, recorded a drop in performance  in  the  year  2020  when  compared


In terms of gender, female candidates performed slightly  better  than  their  male  counterparts  in English,     Kiswahili     and     Kenyan     Sign


Male  candidates  performed  slightly  better  than their female counterparts in Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and Religious Education.

I wish to commend all the teachers, parents and

candidates  for  this  good  performance  achieved

during a very difficult period.

The summary of grades is as follows:

CS Magoha's speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results
CS Magoha's speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results


The Ministry remains committed to assisting learners with special needs to do well in  their studies.

The number of candidates with Special Needs was

higher in the year 2020 (2,675) when compared to that of 2019 (2,407). The categories with the highest number of candidates with special needs in the 2020 KCPE examination were those with physical disabilities (1,201), followed by those with hearing impairment (738).

The highest SNE candidate scored 420 marks

compared with the top candidate who scored 414

marks in 2019 KCPE out of the possible 500 marks. This improvement further underscores the fact that performance in the 2020 KCPE was commendable and that SNE children, given a fair and conducive environment, can excel. Overall performance for SNE candidates was as follows:

CS Magoha's speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results

The list of SNE candidates with 400 marks and above are as follows:


CS Magoha's speech during releasing of KCPE 2020 results

The number of candidates who sat the KCPE examination under special circumstances, including those  who sat the  examination  in  hospitals, increased from 1,176 in the year 2019 to 1,255 in 2020.

I particularly wish to mention a unique case of a candidate by the name Titus Musili from Kaunguni primary school in Kitui County whom I was informed had been sent home from school over flimsy grounds. He ended up missing the English Composition paper. I had to intervene

and order that he return to the examination room

and I can assure the country that he completed his examinations and he is among the candidates who will receive their examinations today.


As is our tradition, the KCPE Examination results will be collected by respective schools from the Sub County Education offices.   

Candidates  should therefore collect their results from their respective examination centres. Individual candidates’ results can also be accessed by sending a candidate’s index number followed by the initials KCPE through a Short Message Service (SMS) to 20076.  

This service will be available immediately after this event.

Head teachers will be required to download and print the on-line results slips for candidates in their schools and authenticate the same before they are released to parents, guardians or candidates.

It is now my pleasure to declare the 2020 KCPE examination results officially released and wish all candidates success in their future endeavours.




Thursday, 15th April, 2021

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