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By OUMA WANZALA
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An audit of the 2018 KCPE examination results has painted a rosy picture of 4,000 schools whose performance has been low for years.

A majority of the schools registered improved outcomes compared to six years ago.

The schools studied were those that registered a mean of 243 marks and above in the 2012 and 2013 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations.

To boost their performance, the Education ministry put the institutions in a programme called School Improvement Plan.

It was under the Primary Education Development (PRIEDE) project.

The schools were to be helped to map out strategies to raise their standards of academic management and accountability.

The project, expected to end this year, was also aimed at providing interventions in key areas and help the country address areas not fully covered by other initiatives.

Under the programme, headteachers and management committees in the affected schools were trained on boosting overall performance.

An analysis of the 2018 KCPE examination results for 80 schools targeted for the special interventions in Wajir County showed that 58 (or 72.5 per cent) registered improved performance compared to 2017.

In Mandera County, 55 schools out of the 77 in the project registered improved results.

In Nairobi, most of the schools in the pilot are in slums.

Twenty-eight of the 41 schools targeted registered improved performance.

Other counties which posted good results include Nyamira (67.1 per cent), Vihiga, Mombasa and Homa Bay (65 per cent), Tana River (64.1 per cent) and Kiambu (63.74 per cent.

Some schools registered improvement in performance in the last three years.

The top 10 most improved schools countrywide were Esageri in Baringo (112.2), Boremagongo in Migori (106.97), Saka (100.89), Alango Arba (96.79), Balambala (91.75) all in Garissa, Diff in Wajir (89.9), Lorengo in Turkana (89.75), Titila and Mbalambala in Tana River and Watuha in Murang’a, which improved by 86.89, 82.66 and 81.18 respectively.

The authors of the study said the 4,000 schools have shown great potential in the utilisation of the SIP funds.

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“Other schools formulated unique strategies that contributed positively to teaching and learning,” the report said.

“They have shown good utilisation of available teaching/learning materials, supervision of curriculum implementation, school environment, pupils’ welfare, parents’ participation in schools as well as local community support and stakeholder involvement in development.”

PRIEDE project coordinator Martha Ekirapa said the ministry would establish how the schools performed in different subjects.

“Based on the improved learning outcomes and other positive aspects that have been realised, we plan to document the good practices and lessons learnt so as to provide opportunities for peer learning and benchmarking for other institutions not in the project,” she said.

The director of projects in the ministry, Mr Elijah Mungai, said the success of the programme had led to better teaching and management of the schools.

“We are focusing on strengthening school management and accountability for results in primary education,” Mr Mungai said.

He added that a KCPE examination analysis and feedback has been given to participating schools to help them identify their weaknesses and select appropriate measures to improve their delivery.

The schools are also helped to implement a tool that tracks the performance of teachers.

The Teachers Service Commission provides useful feedback for school improvement planning in general, and to tutors specifically, for their professional development.

The schools were provided with resources to develop an improvement scheme to address their pupil learning challenges, and thereafter carry out priority actions under the plan.

Schools participating in the pilot are audited every year during the project implementation period.

Mr Mungai said the capacity of the directorate capacity would be strengthened to carry out financial and system audits as well as risk-based assessments. Funding for the project was part of the Sh8.8 billion Global Partnership for Education grant to the ministry.



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