The Scandalous Northern Kenya 2019 KCSE Results Cannot be Ignored.
By Mohamed Haji
Northern Kenya is an unfortunate place for your child to prepare his or her national examinations. It is almost always the case that they will fail. Their hard-work, effort and apparent intellect notwithstanding, they will pass with a D-, a D or a D+. of the 2600 students who sat their examinations in Garissa township in 2019, for example, only 250 managed to secure university places. This is a shocking 10 per cent pass rate. A whooping 90% scored below C+. This is beyond scandalous. This is genocidal rape of our children’s future and as is common with all genocides human beings are to blame.
In the past, these kids were failed in the sciences before the humanities joined in the feast and surprisingly now Knec is so explicit in whatever it is doing to these innocent kids that they even fail them in the subject of Islamic religious education (IRE)! It beggars belief how anyone from NEP will fail in IRE examinations let alone score a D-. Now this was what exposed KNEC and its criminal enterprise of feasting on the innocent children of northern Kenya. We believed our children failed because they had no good schools, had no enough good teachers, have not been working hard or as the mainstream media likes to peddle around, were herding animals or married too young. I believed in these nonsense until I came to discover that actually, there is something more sinister than the above that is failing our children. Something way above their capability, something they have no control over. This is not to say that we do not have our fair share of dunderheads who actually fail and fail miserably in examinations. We have them, but 90% of our children failing to score a C+ and above is inconceivable. Politicising education and using it as a tool to continue under-developing the region and subjugating it further is what it is. There is nothing more lethal than using education or lack-there-of to under-develop a people. This then could be a form of genocide. Successive regimes in Kenya used the security issue as a weapon to beat with the people of Northern Kenya and illegally deny them development. This is explicit and known to many people. However, little known is that the same regimes have weaponized examinations to deny children from this region the future they deserved and thus deny us the teachers, doctors, nurses and all the other professionals we require.
The terrorist group, Al-shabaab, claims that it is targeting non-local teachers and other professionals in its attacks. Now if you look at it, the 60 year old government policy of denying children from Northern Kenya the national examination grades they have worked for and rightly earned, is to blame for the lack of local teachers, nurses and doctors who could otherwise be working in these schools and hospitals. One way of fighting terrorists and actually calling Al-Shabaab’s bluff is to stop denying our children the grades they earn and for KNEC to stop what it does in its dingy marking centres. It could prove the best weapon to fight terror.
Majority Leader Aden Duale raised red flags when he claimed KNEC is deliberately failing these children. He said he will summon the Education CS and promised to form a national assembly committee to investigate what was actually happening in KNEC marking centres. Unfortunately, he rarely walks his talks so nothing came out of it. After the 2019 results were released, he met the teachers and was heard blaming the teachers. We do not actually know what happened to his claims of deliberate action or inaction by KNEC that failed our children or his national assembly committee or indeed whether the education CS was summoned by parliament. What we know is that failing our children in national examinations has continued and there are no signs that anyone is addressing it.
KNEC must open its servers and tell us what actually is the cause of this mass failure of our children. We refuse to believe that our children do not know how to pass or learn. This supposition is disproved in colleges of higher education. When our children join middle level colleges to pursue their education, they excel above the national average. This is prove that KNEC marking is the problem. Why would our children do well in middle colleges and not in KCPE or KCSE?
We need action against this scandal that will impact on the nation as talented children fall victim to flawed KNEC markings and a dangerous national policy that will starve our hospitals and schools brilliant brains that can better meet the challenges of the 21st century. Educationist, politicians, parents and all other stakeholders must meet and deliberate on how to address this challenge.