The number of pupils who scored 401 marks and above in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination rose by 24.6 percent to 12,273 from last year’s 9,846, signalling an improvement in performance for the third year in a row, a summary of the results released Monday shows.
The top candidate in this year’s examinations however scored 453 marks, two points short of last year’s record of 455 marks.
Kenya National Examinations Council Monday released a summary of the performance showing that the number of pupils who scored 401 marks and above was equivalent to 1.17 per cent of the total 1,060,711 candidates who sat for KCPE last month. Last year, 0.99 percent were in the top segment.
The summary also showed that female candidates performed better than their male counterparts in English, Kiswahili and Kenya Sign Language.
On the other hand, male candidates performed better in Mathematics, Science and Social Studies and Religious Education.
Education secretary Amina Mohamed attributed the improvement in scores to the hard work that teachers had done, saying that the number of quality grades has been rising since 2016 when the government first introduced tough measures to curb cheating.
Some 228,414 pupils, or 21.7 percent of total candidates, scored between 301 marks and 400 marks out of the possible 500, an increase of 11,107 candidates compared to last year.
More than half (54.66 percent) of pupils scored between 201 and 300 marks compared to last year’s 529,897 candidates or 53.31 per cent of all candidates.
The results summary also showed that 234,573 pupils scored between 101 and 200 marks translating to 22.3 percent of total candidates compared to 23.59 percent last year.
Those who scored between zero and 100 were 2,177, being 0.21 percent down from 2,360 in 2017 and 6,747 in 2016.
This year’s exams had 2,495 candidates with special needs, up from 2,038 the previous year. The highest candidate scored 446 marks, an improvement from last year’s results 426 marks.
Ms Mohamed assured all pupils of a slot in Form One, forming the second cohort to be admitted to secondary schools under the 100 percent transition policy.
“The ministry has already conducted a mapping of vacancies in all categories of schools. We are ready to admit more learners under the Free Day Secondary Education programme,” she said.
Form One selection exercise is set to begin on December 3 and results communicated to pupils before Christmas.
This year’s exam was manned by 183,497 contracted professionals, including 27,354 supervisors, 65,107 invigilators, 54,322 security officers, 27,161 centre managers and 918 examination management directors.