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2020 KCSE results to be released today in calendar disrupted by pandemic

Candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in March and April are expected to get their results today, nearly six months later than the traditional announcement date of late December.

Marking of the national test, which is the first final secondary education examination to be conducted under the Covid-19 pandemic, was completed last week.

The months-long disruption to the school calendar last year makes the release of the results a significant occasion for candidates, their families and education policymakers.

‘Human face’

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha promised that the examinations would be administered and marked “with a human face”, to assuage fears of learners who felt inadequately prepared to sit the test.

“We are all determined to ensure (that) grades awarded to our learners are all merited and that our academic qualifications are beyond reproach,” Prof Magoha said at the end of the examinations.

The CS has given today, May 10 2021, as the deadline for release of the results.

On Friday last week, he said that the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) only needed a couple of days to process the papers received from the markers.

“We are going to the next step which will require certain experts to do certain things and, therefore, there should be no rumours as to when the exams results will be ready. They will be ready when they are ready. The results will come out reasonably well as expected,” Prof Magoha said while announcing the conclusion of the marking.

Private schools

Private primary school owners claimed that their students were marked down in the KCPE exams released last month, but Education officials strongly denied the accusation.

The Education CS indicated that an early release of results would benefit to make up for the time lost last year due to prolonged closure of schools forced by the Covid-19 pandemic. He said that candidates who wish to apply for the new diploma in teacher education that has been aligned to the competency-based curriculum will be eligible for the second intake in August.

A random check by the Nation showed that most universities will have transitioned continuing students and will be ready to admit the 2020 candidates at the beginning of the academic year in September this year, thereby avoiding a backlog.

No backlog

“We have done very well since we decided not to suspend learning. We admitted the last cohort in September and they have been learning. We are on schedule and have no backlog at UoN. We are ready to admit the Form Four leavers in September,” University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor Stephen Kiama told the Nation.

Universities and other tertiary institutions of learning will be reopening tomorrow (Tuesday) alongside primary and secondary schools since they were closed in March following a surge in Covid-19 infections.

The KCSE exams were administered from March 26, 2021 to April 21 2021, with the marking starting immediately. Teachers who were marking the examinations at two centres staged a go-slow in the latter stages demanding an increase of their allowances. They later resumed marking after some of their demands were met by Knec.

Some 752,891 candidates registered for the KCSE exam, but thousands of them missed the tests.

Dropouts

After the long closure, many students did not go back to school. Thousands of girls were reported to have gotten pregnant, gave birth while others were married, cutting short their academic journeys.

Boys who dropped out were mostly said to have fallen into drug and substance abuse while others opted to engage in informal businesses like operating bodabodas. Last month, it emerged that 12,424 candidates for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education missed their test. This was more than double the 2019 figure of 5,530.

During the examination period, there were also reported cases of examination malpractices that saw 27 teachers relieved of their duties as centre managers, supervisors or invigilators. They are expected to face disciplinary action from their employer, the Teachers Service Commission.

Another 37 people, who included three university students and two businessmen, were arrested over alleged involvement in exam irregularities. Fifty three mobile phones were also confiscated in various examination rooms. Prof Magoha has, however, maintained that the examination was not leaked.