How The Government Plotted To Fail Private Schools In KCPE 2020
Release of 2020 KCSE results has been accompanied by Echoes of silence, unlike in the previous years that such occasions have always been marred with joy and dances.
Analyzing CS Magoha’s statement that administration and marking of KCPE 2020 will have a “human face”, members of the Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) have concluded that the human face was strictly meant for a section of candidates particularly from public schools, whom the covid-19 pandemic had deprived valuable instructional time
Prof Magoha in apparent response to parents concerns before the exam was quoted assuring the nation that administration and marking would take in account the challenges many candidates went through last year.
The just released 2020 KCPE exams results, taken by about 1.2 million candidates, does not reflect any lack of instructional time, especially for candidates in public schools after schools closed in March last year, as it did not deter their march to the top. Coincidentally, the virtual lessons attended by a section of private school candidates have not been reflected in the same results.
The radio and TV lessons offered by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) were also accessible to only a few from affluent homes.
The schools’ closure negatively affected learners. Leading to dropouts. The sector recorded the highest pregnancy, some opting for early marriage.
Investigations into the pre and post marking events have revealed that there was alleged unfair standardization, which produced abnormal marks among the top candidates and the bottom candidates. After realizing this abnormality, the marks of private school candidates were allegedly chopped down by between 48 to 60 marks compared to the public schools whose marks were chopped down by between 19 and 25 marks. The reason that led to this unfair treatment of the private school pupils is yet to be established. If these allegations turn out to be real, then this would be the most unethical act committed by the government.
“Standardization should be equal for both private and public schools since all students belong to the government,” decried one teacher from a private school. Some private school directors are already advocating for the scrapping off of standardization so that learners score what they deserve.
“We have never seen or heard about standardised salary, why should our children continue to suffer because of this. The standardisation issue should be dealt with once and for all and if possible, done away with completely,” says Mrs. Ndunge, a director of a Nairobi school.
According to her, standardisation is not only affecting the final exam results for private school students, but also robbing them a chance to attend their dream schools since students from public schools are also given the first priority when it comes to school selection.
Proprietors and managers of private schools are wondering how a Covid-19 disrupted learning programme, limited access to online learning could endow the underprivileged candidates in public schools to perform better than their peers in academies.
“We understand that moderation and standardisation were done. But this situation where candidates in public school top the ranking nationally and in counties is still a puzzle considering that private schools still posted high mean scores,” says Minishi, the director of Fesbeth Academy.