Girls performed better than boys in Physics and Electricity in 2016 KCSE

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UPDATES: Girls performed better than boys in 8 of the 30 subjected examined during the 2016 KCSE. These were English, Kiswahili, Mathematics Alternative B, Physics, CRE, Home Science, Art and Design and Electricity. According to Education CS Fred Matiang’i no female candidate candidates registered for Wood Work and Metalwork. Here is Matiang’i’s full speech detailing the way the exams were conducted and the performance.

Ladies and Gentlemen, I welcome you to this event of releasing the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) Examination results that will not only enable candidates to celebrate their four-year academic achievement but also play a critical role in determining their future career prospects. It is indeed the first time in the 27-year-old KCSE Examination history that the results have been released in the same year as when they were sat. As a matter of fact, the marking exercise of this examination only ended on the eve of Christmas, a clear testimony that the professionals involved in the process have processed the results in a record one week. To the entire team, I say a big “THANK YOU”.

At the beginning of this year, the Kenya Government embarked on the task of implementing a raft of reforms aimed at streamlining the management of national examinations. The most fundamental objective of these  measures was to restore the credibility of the academic certificates of our learners at all levels of our education system.

These multi-sectoral reforms, directed upon us by His Excellence the President, were anchored on the firm believe that, with concerted efforts of all Government agencies, the country had the prowess to deliver an examination process that was beyond reproach; one which will enable our graduates to walk briskly on the global academic arena.

The arduous task of addressing all the challenges that had bedeviled our examination system was neither expected to be a walk in the park nor was it to be achievable overnight. We knew that it would require the efforts of hardworking and meticulous officers drawn from across the spectrum of Government to rid the system of the deeply entrenched and shameless exam thieves and cartels. I am extremely elated to report that so far, without asking for additional human resources, the Government managed to put in place some of the most convincing overt and covert measures that led to the delivery of a clean Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and KCSE examinations.

As you well know, the first candidates to sit examinations under the new regime were those of the 2016 KCPE cohort whose results we released just a month after they sat the assessment. The KCPE candidates have already been selected to schools where they will be reporting to on January 9, 2017, an exercise that saw us achieve a commendable 84 per cent transition.

READ: CS Matiang’i to release KCSE examination results at 2:30 pm

Largely, we have managed to record these impressive strides thanks to the incredible efforts of my colleagues from the Ministries of Interior and Coordination of National Government and Information and Communication Technology. As we do this, I wish to ask Kenyans to join us in celebrating the success of the Government’s reformed examination process and promise that never again should we allow our assessment systems to rot as much as we had allowed them to. I therefore wish to highly appreciate the efforts of my Cabinet colleagues Hon. Maj. Gen. Joseph Ole Nkaissery (Interior and Coordination of National Government) and Hon. Joe Mucheru (ICT) for working with the Ministry of Education to push to fruition all of our reforms.

I cannot not tire to thank the overall coordination team of Dr Belio Kipsang, PS in charge of Basic Education, Nancy Macharia, CEO of TSC, Prof George Magoha, chairman KNEC Board and acting CEO Mercy Karogo and Dr Julius Jwan, CEO of KICD.  The tireless efforts of these highly professional public servants, who never got tired to open exam containers over the exam period, cannot be overemphasized.


(a) The 2017 Academic Calendar

I wish to announce to you that preparations for the 2017 national examinations calendar will start as soon as we release the 2016 KCSE results today. I wish to promise that we have learnt many lessons from the first year of implementing the new tough exam reforms. We plan to build on the successes we made and address the challenges learnt to ensure that we do better next year.

To this end, we have already released the guidelines on the 2017 academic calendar, which we will strictly enforce. Specifically, we have still provided for an examination season, a period when schools will be closed to allow us to concentrate on exam administration. This worked well for us well and we hope we can do better next year. All teachers except those involved in the administration of practical subjects and boarding facilities will be expected to remain out of schools during the examination season, as was the case this year.


As in 2016, the role of Principals/Head teachers as Centre Managers in their examination schools will be upheld. I wish to commend the school heads for performing this role excellently this year. We would not be having an examination results worthy of celebrating had the principals and head teachers not delivered to the highest standards as they did. All supervisors and invigilators who did their job astoundingly well will also be celebrated and retained.

(b) Secondary School Fees Structure

I wish to remind all Kenyans that the Government has issued school fees structures for the different categories of public secondary schools. Head teachers are urged to strictly adhere to the fees structures to ensure that all Kenyans irrespective of their backgrounds have unrestricted access to education.

As I announced recently, I, as well as my colleagues from Jogoo House, will be in various schools from January 4, 2017 to monitor the implementation of the school fees guidelines. Any institution that is found to be flouting the guidelines will be firmly dealt with. I wish to put BOMs of schools that charge extra fees on notice that once we confirm any such illegalities, appropriate disciplinary action shall be meted out.

(c) Government Funding of Examination Fees

Since 2015, the Government has committed itself to the payment of examination fees for candidates sitting the KCPE and KCSE examination for those schools that are receiving FPE and FSE funds.


Further to this, the Government has now extended this facility to all candidates who will be sitting examinations in private schools in Kenya. I, however, wish to warn schools against registering “ghost” candidates with the intention of inflating their candidature to the levels that KNEC requires of an examination centre.

(d) Ranking of Schools and Candidates in 2016 KCSE

As said during the release of the KCPE, it will not be possible to either rank schools or candidates based on the 2016 KCSE Examination.  This is because we are yet to operationalise the law recently passed by Parliament, which among other things, requires that we conduct research, consult widely and come up with regulations that provide a basis for the ranking. I, therefore, call for patience as we seek the best way forward on this front. I wish to assure Kenyans that the Ministry will put in place a water-tight mechanism to help us to implement the law.

(e) Towards Reforming Kenya’s Curriculum

I wish to address the issue of curriculum reforms as I did during the release of the KCPE results. As I urge all the stakeholders to study and analyse the KCSE results, I wish us to answer critical questions: To what extent are our children learning in the right way? Do they cover the syllabus adequately? What life-long skills are they gaining over the course of their learning? Are we stressing on assessments too much? These are indeed critical questions that we must keep asking as we interpret the results we are releasing today. Indeed globally, education reforms and reviews of evaluation are viewed as critical aspects of assessing learning. On our part, we are determined to adopt continuous assessments over summative evaluation. We are proposing changes to our education curriculum to gradually invest in the change that focuses on continuous evaluation. In part, this will require reforming of our current teacher training framework, a retraining of some of the critical actors in the evaluation chain and a relook at the whole process of the spectrum of assessment. We will present the proposed new curriculum to education stakeholders at a National Curriculum Conference early in 2017. We have to take the result of each examination administered seriously and seek to analyse the lessons we draw from them.


(i) Examination Papers for the 2016 KCSE Cohort Class

Turning to the release of the results, I wish to note that during the 2016 KCSE examination, candidates were examined in thirty (30) subjects using seventy two (72) papers. Candidates were required to sit for a minimum of seven (07) and a maximum of nine (09) subjects. I wish to state that there are a few candidates who have not been graded on account of not sitting all the minimum seven subjects as required.

The 2016 KCSE written examination papers were taken over a period of 18 days, from 7th to 30th November 2016. During this period, the Council engaged the services of an estimated 74,810 Contracted Professionals compared with 2015 when 51,717 were engaged. The professionals included 9,468 Supervisors, 33,159 Invigilators, 19,698 Security Officers, 2,290 Drivers, 9,157 Centre Managers (principals), 346 Sub-County Commissioners and 692 Education officers. I must sincerely thank this group of dedicated Kenyans who worked round the clock to ensure that the administration of the examination was undertaken in accordance with the laid down rules and regulations that govern the supervision and invigilation of the KCSE examination.

The marking of the examination was done between 2nd and 24th December 2016 by 16,637 examiners who were accommodated in 25 marking centres. For the first time, these centres were all located in Nairobi and its surroundings in a move that greatly increased efficiency and effectiveness of the marking process. These examiners did a fantastic job and sometimes worked long hours to ensure they did their job professionally within the set deadlines.

(ii) The 2016 KCSE Examination Candidature

During the 2016 KCSE examination, there were 574,125 candidates who sat the examination compared to 522,870 candidates in 2015.  This represents an increase of 51,255 candidates (9.80%).

Of the 574,125 candidates who sat the 2016 KCSE examination, 300,995 were male, while 273,130 were female, representing 52.43% and 47.57% of the total candidature respectively.

Nationally, the number of female candidates who have sat the KCSE examination has been lower than that of male candidates over the last seven years. However, the percentage increase of female candidates has been increasing steadily over that of male candidates in the last four years.

Commendably, 11 counties had more female candidates than male in the 2016 KCSE meaning that the regions are doing a good job in enrolling girls in the education system. Although we do encourage all children to be enrolled in the school system, more effort is needed to break the cultural and regional barriers that have traditionally kept the girl child out of school. Counties that had more female than male candidates in the 2016 KCSE examination included Taita Taveta, Kwale, Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Kiambu, Meru, Tharaka Nithi, Uasin Gishu and Vihiga.

The counties with high gender disparities in favour of male candidates during the 2016 KCSE examination included Kisii, Homa Bay, Migori, Garissa, Kilifi, Siaya, Trans-nzoia, Busia, Mandera, Turkana and Narok. Isiolo County has had the lowest KCSE examination candidature for the last two years.

There was an increase in candidature in all the counties during the year 2016 when compared to the year 2015, with the exception of Kwale county, which registered a decrease in candidature.  This trend was also replicated in the year 2015.

I wish to note that the KCSE examination was taken in 9,154 examination centres across the country, compared to 8,646 examination centres in 2015.  This represents an increase of 508 examination centres (5.88%).

(iii) Candidates with Special Needs

The highest number of candidates with special needs who sat the 2016 KCSE examination comprised those who were Physically Impaired (412) compared to 2015 when the highest category comprised the Hearing Impaired (377).

From the reports received from examination centres, out of 257 candidates who sat the 2016 KCSE examination in hospitals, 113 candidates were maternity related cases. The number of candidates who took the 2016 KCSE examination in prisons slightly increased from 08 in the year 2015 to 10 in the year 2016.

(iv) Candidates’ Age Composition in the KCSE 2016 Examination

The percentage of under-age candidates (candidates below the age of 16) increased from 1.86% in 2015 to 2.21% in 2016 KCSE examination, with Kisii county having the highest number of under-age candidates (1,194) followed by Bomet (925) and Kericho (838) counties.

The highest percentage of candidates registered for the 2016 KCSE examination was within the ideal age bracket of between 17 and 20. This age group constitutes 79.02% (456,126) of the total candidature.  Some of the counties that recorded the highest number of candidates above 23 years included Nairobi, Kilifi and Kakamega with 1,888, 1,403 and 1,240 candidates respectively.

(v) Subject Performance in the 2016 KCSE Examination

In the 2016 KCSE Examination, five (05) subjects recorded significant improvement in performance, compared to thirteen (13)  subjects that recorded a significant improvement in performance in 2015. Art & Design (442), Computer Studies (451), Drawing & Design (449), Woodwork (444), and Kenyan Sign Language (504) were the most improved subjects.

There was no significant change in performance in five (05) of the thirty (30) subjects offered during the 2016 KCSE examination. The number of subjects with a decline in performance was twenty (20) in the year 2016 compared to ten (10) in the year 2015.

(vi) Performance by Gender in the 2016 KCSE Examination

In the 2016 KCSE Examination, female candidates performed better than male candidates in eight (08) out of the thirty (30) subjects. These were English (101), Kiswahili (102), Mathematics Alternative B (122), Physics (232), CRE (313) Home Science (441), Art and Design (442) and Electricity (448).

Male candidates performed better than female candidates in twenty (20) out of the thirty (30) subjects offered. It is noteworthy that female candidates did not register for Wood Work (444) and Metalwork (445). The subject with the highest mean score was Electricity (65.14%) followed by Power Mechanic (64.87%).

(vii) Overall Grade Achievement in the 2016 KCSE

I wish to note that there was a significant drop in the number of top grades achieved in the 2016 KCSE. There were 141 (0.02%) candidates who obtained an overall mean Grade A in the 2016 KCSE examination compared to 2,685 (0.51%) in 2015.

The same drop was also recorded in the total number of candidates who scored the minimum university entry mean grade requirement of C and above. The number of candidates with minimum university entry qualification of mean Grade C and above was 88,929 (15.41%) in the 2016 KCSE examination compared to 169,492 (32.23%) in 2015.

I must commend some Girl schools that have, unlike many other schools, nearly maintained their achievement of top mean grades in the KCSE 2016, including Alliance Girls and The Kenya High School. Alliance Girls had 25 candidates obtaining a mean grade of A Plain, the same as last year while The Kenya High had 21 candidates with mean grade of A Plain, one more than last year.

(viii) Examination Irregularities

Consistent to the Ministry of Education’s drive to rid the system of malpractices, I wish to report, like I did during the release of the 2016 KCPE results, that the KCSE Examination was not leaked at all.  As a result, we are not cancelling results of any single candidate compared with 2015 when results for 5,101 candidates were cancelled. This is confirmation that various security measures put in place during the administration and management of the 2016 KCSE Examination helped to nip in the bud any forms of cheating.

I wish to report that all the attempted cases of examination malpractices were detected and dealt with appropriately before they could happen. We should also note that there are a few candidates whose results have been held back as KNEC investigates the reasons as to why there were gaps in some of their examination papers, including failure to sit the minimum subjects or combinations as required. Such candidates will be informed of the KNEC decisions as soon as possible.

(ix) Command and Control Centre at KNEC

The KNEC Command and Control Centre is still in place to allow candidates to communicate to the council any concerns or observations regarding the examinations. The public is encouraged to send in any feedback concerning the conduct of the examinations to the centre through toll-free telephone number 0800724900.

(x) Accessing of the 2016 KCSE Examination Results

Before releasing the 2016 KCSE examination results, I wish to inform all candidates and their parents or guardians that the KCSE Examination results will be collected by their respective schools from the Sub County Director of Education offices. Candidates should therefore collect their results from their respective examination centres. Individual candidate results can also be accessed by sending a candidate’s index number through a Short Message Service (SMS) to 22252 immediately after this event.

Head teachers will be required to download and print the on-line results slips for candidates in their schools and authenticate them before they are released to parents, guardians or candidates.

It is now my pleasure to declare the 2016 KCSE examination results released and wish all candidates success in their future endeavors and at the same time wish each and every Kenyan a PROSPEROUS YEAR, 2017.


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