Since the Cabinet Secretary for Education released the 2020 KCPE results there has been a lot disquiet coming from the Schools, parents and candidates indicating that their expectations in as far as performance is concerned was not met.
Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) in responding to the concerns that had been raised by members held its National Committee meeting on Tuesday 20th April, 2021 to deliberate and review the 2020 KCPE results and chart a way forward for its member Schools.
From the review the following was observed;
CANDIDATURE DETAILS FOR THE 2020 KCPE
Total Candidature 1,179,192 of these 590,450 (50.07%) were boys and 588,742 (49.93%) were girls.
KCPE Examination Centers were 28,460.
Top mark in 2020 was 433 out of 500 compared to 440 in 2019, 453 in 2018, 455 in 2017 and 436 in 2016.
Of the top 15 places in the KCPE results, candidates from public schools took ten slots, while candidates from private took 5 slots.
MARKS DISTRIBUTION IN COMPARISON TO OTHER YEARS
|3.||MASENO GIRLS BOARDING|
|4.||NZOIA SUGAR CO.|
|5.||CRYSTAL HILL ACADEMY|
|6.||ST MATHEW’S SEPTONOK|
|7.||LESSOS HILLS ADVENTIST|
|10.||CHOGORIA GIRLS CHOGORIA GIRLS|
|11.||CRYSTAL HILL ACADEMY|
|12.||EMMANUEL SPRINGS ACADEMY|
|15.||EMMANUEL SPRINGS ACADEMY|
MARKS DISTRIBUTION IN COMPARISON TO OTHER YEARS
|400 – 500||7,560||5,143||9,846||11,559||9,673||8,091|
|300 – 399||–||–||–||223,862||242,821||282,090|
|200 – 299||–||–||–||574,173||566,069||589,027|
|100 – 199||–||–||–||240,178||263,500||299,677|
|001 – 099||–||–||–||2,592||1,393||307|
|CANDIDATURE INCREASE COMPARED TO PREVIOUS YEAR||–||–||41,697||58,646||31,092||95,736|
%age DISTRIBUTION IN COMPARISON TO OTHER YEARS
|400 – 500||0.54%||0.99%||1.09%||0.89%||0.68%|
|300 – 399||–||–||21.10%||22.30%||23.67%|
|200 – 299||–||–||54.13%||51.98%||49.43%|
|100 – 199||–||–||22.64%||24.20%||25.15%|
|001 – 099||–||–||0.24%||0.13%||0.03%|
From what we have been able to gather from the KPSA Secretariat, our members, the media, MoE and KNEC we have so far observed the following in as far as KCPE results 2020 is concerned;
1. Whereas candidates from Public schools dominated the top 10 positions, Candidates from private schools dominated the top 100 and Top 1,000 positions in the 2020 KCPE results released by the cabinet secretary.
2. Private schools are dominating in top mean scores in almost all the counties interrogated so far.
3. Private schools directors and other interested parties have complained of results not reflecting their expectations and would wish to subject the results to further interrogation.
SO WHAT ARE THE ISSUES BEING RAISED?
1. Did private schools KCPE results reflect their expectations? – NO
2. Did public schools generally perform better than private school? –NO
3. So what really happened? – THIS IS THE BIG QUESTION THAT NEEDS TO BE INTERROGATED TO THE SATISFACTION OF OUR MEMBERS AND THEIR STAKEHOLDERS.
In trying to find out what really happened that caused reduced individual students marks while retaining the top positions country wide, we embarked on further understanding the standardization process and experiences of other years including KCSE.
The 2016 KCSE results elicited a lot of mixed reactions from different stakeholders in the education sector because of the low grades against expectations, KNUT even demanded the immediate recall of the results. Despite the loud outcry from KNUT and other stakeholders citing breaches in marking and moderation of the exams, KNEC overlooked their remarking and recall concerns but went ahead to educated those who were keen to learn how moderation works leading to decline in the released results.
In the same year 2016 KCPE results had a noticeable decline in top performance where candidates scoring more than 400 marks dropped by 2,417 from 7,560 in 2015 to 5,143.
KNEC was again put on the spot on the reasons for the decline.
The strict Matiangi examination rules and the moderation criteria were widely cited as the main reasons.
It was highly pronounced and noted that public schools had done very well in the 2016 KCPE with even the second best candidate coming from a public school.
In recognition of this achievement the CS while releasing the results promised that the government will set up a special fund to allocate to all public schools that produced students in the top 100 category for purposes of improving their infrastructure and growing their capacity.
Fast forward to KCPE results of 2020 and the expectations of high marks for top performance again was not met.
Looking at the history of KCPE, there has been a general decline in top KCPE marks when the average performance for the majority of the candidates low.
Learning for a majority of the 2020 KCPE candidates across the country was seriously affected by the disruptions of covid-19 pandemic which subsequently compromised the results leading to a low mean average for KCPE raw marks.
When this mean was applied as was the case in the standardization formula the effects was never different from what was experienced in other years with low mean from the raw scores.
Examination Standardization, however, is a process that very few people understand, hence the resultant confusion in why low marks for the expected high performers and high marks for the expected low performers.
Standardization is not selective it is applied to all candidates who sit for the same exam without exception.
It is not a secret! The Kenya National Examinations Council publishes information on standardization every year in its annual KCPE report which has always been available in the bookshops.
In addition, it is not just in Kenya that examination results are normalized: it is a common practice the world over.
One may ask if standardization has been applied all the years in the history of KCPE then why the difference this year!!
The answer is simple a majority of the candidates did not perform very well in the raw scores which affected the mean for the raw marks that was used in the standardization formula.
It is worth noting that standardization does not affect ranking at all, number one remains number one irrespective.
REFER TO THE POWER POINT SLIDES PROVIDED HEREWITH FOR FURTHER GUIDANCE WAY FORWARD;
Based on the information gathered and presentations made it was agreed and resolved as follows;
1. KPSA should continue lobbying for continued non-discriminatory form one selection policy that provides for a fair admission to National schools of choice on Merit.
2. KPSA to lobby for an enhanced consideration of merit on the other categories of secondary schools and especially the extra county schools.
3. KPSA to enhance the visibility and marketing of private secondary schools for consideration by parents as choice schools for their children.
4. KPSA to request KNEC to provide the standardization formula used for 2020 KCPE as well as capacity build private schools for further understanding of how standardization was done and how it affected the actual results.
5. Education stakeholders to relook at the place of standardization and possible ways of improving the same without compromising the credibility and reliability of KCPE results.
6. All leaders both in public and private sector be encouraged to avoid making statements that polarize the education sector by creating a divide between public and private schools with the intention of disadvantaging one over the other.
7. KPSA to collect data on performance to understand the reported deviations and how to address the same.
8. Encourage KPSA members to continue expanding access to the provision of quality education and avoid making public statements that may be injurious to private schools interests.
Ndoro M. Peter.
Chief Executive Officer.