Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination results of 2008 have just been announced by Education Minister Prof. Sam Ongeri, live on TV. It is interesting to note that after many years, schools have not been ranked. It is said ranking of school is a recipe of unethical competition amongst schools. It is disappointing to many who would have wanted to see how their schools or their children’s schools ranked. We will also miss the usual celebrations by schools that were ranked top.
The same has been the case with primary schools results. However I feel not ranking of primary schools is more justified, because we would see mainly private schools topping the list, thereafter parents would get into confrontation with school administration for poor performance, or parents moving students from one school to the other depending on how they rank.
Interesting to note from this announcements is that election violence in 2008 disrupted learning in many schools, especially in Rift Valley and Nyanza where schools were burnt. I remember a nephew telling me how tribal hatred spread in school, a good example was when a student from Rift Valley refused to sit next to one from Central Province and other similar cases. There were a number of schools unrest last year like never before, causing many schools to close down, thus affecting teaching and learning. Hence I feel ranking of schools under these circumstances would have been unfair.
The Minister was especially concerned about gender disparities in two provinces, Nyanza had 39% Girls compared to 61% boys doing the exams, he was concerned because he is from Nyanza and even reminded his Asst. Minister Prof. Olweny that he is also from Nyanza and should do something about this issue. The other province is North Eastern with 26% Girls compared to 74% boys. He said there is need to address this issue urgently to reduce the gaps.
Examination cheating was also reported with some supervisors and head teachers involved. Some students who were caught cheating were charged in court. Just like the case of last years primary exams announcements, schools that were caught will be reported by the media. What a shame! The Minister gave a warning to exam cheaters that his ministry will use all might and there will be no mercy.
Another interesting observation is that male students topped the list, this is a call to female students to be encouraged to pull up their socks. However female students were top in a certain province.
With modern technology (unlike in our days), students can get their results posted on KNEC (Kenya National Examination Council) website and through mobile phones by typing KCSE, then index number through SMS to 2228.