List of pupils with above 400 marks in KCPE up 46.5pc


Magata Bruce Mackenzie from Gilgil Academy is the 2021 top KCPE candidate with 428 marks, here is celebrating with family and friends at their home in Ongata Rongai in this photo taken on March 28, 2022. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NMG

The number of candidates who scored 400 marks and above in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination increased 46.5 percent compared to the previous year, setting the stage for a scramble for admission to the coveted national secondary schools.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said 11,857 candidates scored above 400 marks in this year’s exam, up from 8,091 and 9,673 who hit the mark last year and in 2019 respectively.

Those who scored more than 400 marks in the recent exams have been assured of places in the national schools.

Candidates registered improvement in six of the nine papers, including English Composition, Kiswahili Language, Kiswahili Insha, Sign Language Composition, Science and Social Studies.

Private schools outshone their public peers on rankings on top students, taking 13 of the top 14 places. The top candidate scored 428 marks, a drop from the 433 marks recorded the previous year when the exams were written in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic.

“The mean average performance and quality of grades is higher compared to 2020, an indicator that most candidates got better scores than the previous year,” Prof Magoha said when he released the results on Monday.

In recent years, scores of secondary schools were upgraded to national status, joining the ranks of Alliance, Mang’u, Kenya High, Nairobi School, Maseno and Loreto Limuru Girls.

The status upgrade policy has since been sustained, growing the number of national schools to 103.

Most KCPE candidates and their parents have, however, not changed their mindsets and still consider admission to the original national schools like Alliance as the ultimate prize.

The results, which were released two weeks after the end of exams, show there was a drop in performance in Mathematics, English Language and Religious Education.

The performance drop in Mathematics comes amid increased focus and investments in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) courses, seen as key to spurring innovation and industrialisation.

About 72.37 percent of the 1,214,031 candidates who sat the exam scored 300 marks and below.

The number of candidates who scored less than 100 marks increased to 1,170 from 307 the previous year.

“Girls defeated the boys in English and Kiswahili while boys performed better in STEM subjects, Sign Language and Religious Education,” said Prof Magoha.

Bruce Magata Mackenzie of Gilgil Hills Academy emerged as the top candidate, having scored 428 marks out of the possible 500. Ashley Momanyi of Makini School Kibos emerged second with 427 marks.

Six candidates tied at position three with 426 marks in the list where the top candidate from a public school- Njeru Joel Junior Musyoka of Nyangwa -- scored 425 marks.

Data from the Ministry of Education shows the number of candidates who registered but failed to sit the exam dropped to 11,523 from 12,424 the previous year and 5,530 in 2019.

Prof Magoha maintained that none of the nine papers sat was leaked since the candidates were already in the exam room when attempts were made.

The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) established that some 320 candidates in seven exam centres colluded during the administration of the three-day exams that started on March 7.

“These candidates will be awarded a mark of zero in the affected subjects,” Prof Maghoha said.

The 2021 KCPE exam was the second to be administered at a different time other than November-December following the Covid 19 disruptions to the school calendar.

The learners had been out of school for a prolonged period following the outbreak of Covid-19, prompting the government to implement a crash programme to recover the lost time.

The reviewed school calendar shows the 2022 term one will start on April 26 before it reverts to its normal January date in 2023.

While not giving a specific date, Prof Magoha said the ministry had put in place measures to ensure Form One selection is done the soonest possible.

This is set to pile pressure on the parents that are dealing with the Covid-induced economic hardships that led to layoffs and loss of income for those in business.

This year, the government will offer 9,000 scholarships under the Elimu Scholarship Programme, which was initiated in 2019.

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