There are fears that the poor performance registered among learners following assessment tests by Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) may reflect in the national examinations set to begin next month.
Majority of parents who spoke to KBC digital on Wednesday expressed shock at the latest findings and are calling for urgent interventions by the stakeholders to ensure disadvantaged candidates are not locked out from national schools and public universities.
Caroline Ngii whose son is a class eight candidate at a public primary school in Matuu is calling on the education ministry to consider standardisation of KCPE and KCSE examination results.
” The test results show that children in private schools have outdone our children in public schools. The situation is worse in rural schools where infrastructure to even support e-learning is a challenge. The government should address these glaring gaps but in the meantime let all the children be given equal opportunities” she said.
Get breaking news on your Mobile as-it-happens. SMS ‘NEWS’ to 20153
According to KNEC, the results of the assessment conducted in October last year have shown that nine months out of school caused learning setbacks among students across the board.
The national examination body attributes the low skills levels to lack of face-to-face learning while schools were closed.
A decline was registered in all subjects assessed in the proportion of learners meeting and exceeding expectations.
The number of learners who performed below expectation rose from 8.99 per cent in 2019 to 24.41 per cent last year.
The national assessment tested 1.07 million learners in Grade 4 in Mathematics, English, Kiswahili and Science.
“For instance, in KSL Composition, Mathematics, KSL (Language,) English Composition and Kiswahili Insha only 25.94%, 34.54%, 36.18%, 39.90%, and 45.19% of the learners respectively attained the minimum proficiency level,” the report reads.
Gender disparities in performance were reported, with girls performing better than boys in languages.
In English, girls attained higher means score than boys in both Language and Composition at 51.35 and 46.58 against 49.31 and 42.85.
In Kiswahili, girls attained 49.68 81 and 49.04 in Language and Composition respectively against 48.29 and 44.2 of boys respectively.
On the other hand, boys performed better than girls in Mathematics and Science at 45.39 against 44.39 and 59.24 against 56.49 respectively.
Those in private schools however posted better results in all subjects.
The tests were administered to evaluate the impact of school closure due to Covid-19 and identify intervention measures.