Most of 226,000 candidates who scored below 200 marks in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) may not join secondary schools in 2017.
On average, these candidates — about 24 per cent — obtained 35 per cent in each of the five subjects they were tested in.
Out of the 226,000, some 6,747 had less than 100 marks out of the possible 500, meaning that they obtained an average of 25 per cent in each paper.
The analysis of the examination also reveals that the number of candidates who scored less than 100 marks doubled compared to last year’s 3,061 candidates. In 2014, those who scored below 100 marks were 6,017.
The pass mark is 250 out of the possible 500.
Most of them end up in youth polytechnics.
The results confirms experts’ concerns that children in school are not learning as most of the time teachers are absent and even those who are present do not teach.
A study by Uwezo of Twaweza, titled: Are our children learning? Literacy and numeracy in Kenya, released this year, indicates that the national literacy and numeracy capability among Kenyan children remains low.
It further indicates that four out of 100 children in Class Eight can neither read a Standard Two Kiswahili story nor an English one. Of the 942,021 candidates who sat the examination, 5,143 scored 400 marks and above compared to last year’s 7,560.
Some 207,141 pupils scored 301-399 marks, a total of 501,552 had 201-300 marks while 221,438 scored 101-200 marks and 6,747 had 100 and below.
Girls performed better than boys in language subjects – English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language – while boys performed better than girls in Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and Religion.
This year, 1,950 candidates with special needs sat the examination with the highest candidate scoring 421 marks.
Bungoma County presented 2,139 underage candidates, which was the highest across the 47 counties.
This year there were 17,069 underage candidates as compared to last year’s 4,955.
Candidates with more than 400 marks dropped by 31 per cent with Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i acknowledging that this year’s performance was slightly lower than that of last year.
Speaking during the release of the examination results, Teachers Service Commission chief executive officer Nancy Macharia said they would study a report on performance of candidates to help them improve.
Ms Macharia added that the exercise was 99 per cent successful and disclosed that the commission will introduce support systems in order to strengthen teachers so that they can effectively participate in the exercise.
Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) Chairman Prof George Magoha said teachers must be ready to embrace performance appraisal.