Nairobi, Kenya: Girls shone brighter than boys in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education ( KCPE) examination, taking up seven top positions.
The exam results released Monday by Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi showed that there were more female candidates (58.33 percent) in the top ten positions compared to male candidates (41.67 percent). Twelve candidates managed to the top ten positions having tied in the examination results with girls getting seven slots while boys got five.
The girls’ performance also improved significantly as 47 of them appeared in top hundred closely following the boys who were ahead with 68 of them topping the list. Kaimenyi said he was happy with the girls’ performance saying the number of girls enrolling in schools had increased over the years.
“Considering that 413,390 girls compared to 426,369 boys took the 2013 KCPE examination, the gender parity now stands at 49.2% girls: 50.8% boys which is the closest we have been towards achieving gender parity in the KCPE examination,” he added.
The CS said in 2013, 413,390 girls took the KCPE examination compared to 396,310 in 2012, representing an increase of 17,080 girls, while boys increased from 415,620 in 2012 to 426,369 in 2013, and an increase of 10,749 boys. He however raised concern over the dwindling number of boys sitting for national exams.
“In 18 out of the total 47 counties, more girls than boys sat for the 2013 KCPE examination. This is a worrying trend because we do not wish to reach a situation where the gender disparity against the boy –child becomes a national concern, “he said. The eighteen counties which registered more girls than boys are Nyandarua, Nyeri, Kirinyaga, Kiambu, Machakos, Kitui, Embu, Meru, Makueni,
Tharaka Nithi, Nairobi, Trans Nzoia, Uasin Gishu, Kericho, Nandi, Bungoma, Kakamega and Vihiga. Kaimenyi directed County Directors of Education in these counties to investigate the underlying factors behind the emerging trend and take corrective action where necessary.
He also said he was worried with the number of girls who sit for the KCPE examinations in Tana River, Marsabit, Isiolo, Samburu, West Pokot, Narok, Migori, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera continues to be lower than that of boys with the parity gap in Garissa and Mandera counties being the largest in 2013.