A total of 8,347 pupils registered for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination but did not turn up for the tests, the Education CS said on Monday.
While releasing the results in Mombasa, Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said the number of absentee candidates decreased by 14.18 per cent from 9,726 in 2017.
“I have asked the quality assurance and standards directorate in the ministry to track down the candidates,” the minister said.
Counties with the largest number of KCPE examination candidates were Nairobi, which had 59,302, Nakuru (52,910), Kakamega (50,860) and Bungoma (48,001).
“The ministry continued to implement interventions aimed at enabling special-needs children [to] excel in their learning,” the CS added.
Ms Mohamed announced that a National Psycho-Education Assessment and Research Centre at the Kenya Institute of Special Education in Nairobi is ready for launch.
“Additionally, we prepared and administered special national examination papers for candidates with special needs in line with the President’s directive. We have also increased financing for special and integrated schools,” she said.
The CS added that 2,495 candidates with special needs sat the examination, with the best scoring 446 marks out of a possible 500.
Last year, 2,038 special-needs candidates sat the tests, with the best getting 426 marks.
“This improvement is testimony to the fact that given a fair and conducive environment, children with special needs can excel in their studies,” the minister said.
The 2018 KCPE examination was conducted from October 30 to November 1. A total of 183,497 professionals were contracted to administer the examination.
They were 27,354 supervisors, 65,107 invigilators, 54,322 security officers, 27,161 centre managers, 918 examination management directors, 1,844 security officers manning containers with the examination materials and 6,791 drivers.
A total of 1,052,364 candidates sat the examination. Of these, 527,294 or 50.10 per cent were male while 525,070, representing 49.90 per cent were female.
The 2017 KCPE examination registered 993,718 candidates.