Amina explains mass failure in KCSE exam

The mass failure in the 2017 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination has been attributed to the inability by students to respond to questions requiring analytical and application skills.

The use of unorthodox measures by the students to answer questions to get higher grades was also attributed to the poor performance. Education cabinet secretary Amina Mohammed yesterday told members of the National Assembly that this is despite 75 per cent of the questions coming from the syllabus as per the international standards.

Aminda said there is a need for cultural shift in the teaching-learning process to ensure teachers teach as expected and students study on their part instead of teaching to have students pass exams.

“KCSE exam was undertaken under very strict rules and regulations that meet the internationally globally accepted standards,” said. Appearing before the committee of education, Mohammed however exonerated Knec as well as teachers over the failure saying the exams are set for the students and not the two.

Accompanied by top education officials, Amina told the members that marking of examinations was done as per the international standards. She explained that each of the questions was marked by a different examiner to ensure they ensure there is objectivity before marks were awarded.

Further she explained that a total of 21,296 examiners were hired adding that results were only cancelled in the cases where all the examiners were in agreement that there was cheating. And on the early release of results, Mohammed said this was done since marking began immediately students finished their first papers.

“While marking of the examinations was ongoing, other processes including monitoring to isolate cases of in conformity and handling of exam irregularities was ongoing,” she said. At the same time, the Kenya National Examinations Council said it has closed the window for appeal on cases where results were cancelLed.

Acting Knec chief Executive Mercy Gathigia Karogo said the window for appeal had been temporally suspended because the marking of exams was being done by a pool of markers under very tight rules. “As of now we have temporarily suspended the appeal window because we realised that the loopholes and malpractices had been sealed.”

Committee members demanded to know why the window for appeal had been closed yet this is internationally accepted practice. “The right to appeal is an internationally accepted right. However this has not happened for the last two years, what is happening?” posed nominated MP Wilson Sossion.

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