By Faith Murithi

Parents have been urged to encourage their children to continue pursuing success regardless of the marks scored in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE).

Speaking to Education News most recently, the Chairperson of Kenya National Parents Association (KNPA), Nicholas Maiyo, said that success is beyond KCPE results, adding that building one’s career is also important after the education process.

“Parents should talk to their children and help them in understanding that success is not in only gaining high scores in KCPE and joining top schools but rather it is in going to the next level that is secondary schools, putting more effort and acquiring good skills for building their own careers,” he said.

He observed that in previous years, there were students who scored less than 300 and 200 marks but attained a mean grade of C+ and above in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

During the release of 2019 KCSE results, Muchai Gachie who was among the students who had scored 277 marks in KCPE  attained a Mean Grade  of A- (minus) in KCSE, while Milka Wanjiru had a  B- (minus) from a Sub-county school after scoring 179 in KCPE.  

“Kenyans should demystify myths that candidates who perform poorly in their KCPE exams are failures as that is not the case. Even those who score below average in KCSE, later join polytechnics where they gain skills that help them attain high-paying jobs than some office careers actually. Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) that is set to replace the 8-4-4 system will greatly produce competent students since it is based on competency and not the final examinations qualification,” he added.

Kisii County Education Board Chair, Prof. Henry Onderi.speaking during the KESSHA conference.

His sentiments were backed by Prof. Henry Onderi, Chairperson Kisii County Education Board who said that all the candidates should be congratulated for the good work.

“All candidates should be congratulated for successfully completing primary education since they are educated regardless of the performance. The ultimate goal of education is raising disciplined, God-fearing and all rounded people, which is for the pure benefit of learning and not results.

“Students should leave school with a deep understanding of themselves and how they fit into the world having learned some skills like complex problem-solving, creativity, entrepreneurship, the ability to manage themselves and the ability to be lifelong learners, which every KCPE candidate surely gained,” Prof. Onderi said.

They both advised that the country should adopt a culture of celebrating all candidates and not glorify those who excel to join top schools only, as it is highly contributing to cheating in exams due to the pressure to perform highly and be termed ‘great’ by the society. They also praised the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) terming it suitable to produce competent students

According to Prof. Onderi, the environment in which some candidates sit for their examinations is very challenging and some are not so privileged to have broad access of reading materials, food, shelter, and calm environments that contribute to excellence; and parents together with the society should stop making these students feel as failures but show that there are other means apart from academics to achieve success in life as long as they are educated.

In the recently released 2021 KCPE results by Education Cabinet Secretary Prof. George Magoha, 47.18 percent which represents 578,197 candidates scored between 200 and 299 marks; 25.09 percent, which is equivalent to 307,532 candidates scored between 100 and 199 marks while those who scored below 100 marks were 1,170 candidates, which is a sharp rise from the previous year that recorded 307 students.

Prof. Magoha attributed the rise of students getting less than 100 marks to the pandemic that came along with some constraints that largely affected the education sector. Nevertheless, he assured candidates of 100 percent transition to secondary schools.

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