BY SHEILA CHUMBA/BOSCOW AMBUNDA
Girls performed better than boys in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations that were released on Tuesday last week.
The performance is the first of its kind as in the past years, boys have been on the lead.
According to Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i, gender parity was also achieved after 27 out of all the 47 counties registered more girls than boys.
He said a total of 9,846 candidates scored above 400 marks in this year’s exam, nearly double the 5,143 who hit the mark last year but majority of them were girls.
The girls have now put at bay the myth that the boy child is better than the girl child as it has been the norm.
The girls also posted an improved performance in English, Kiswahili, Mathematics and Religious Education in this year’s exam as compared to 2016.
Western Regional coordinator of Education Nereah Olick told the Standard on phone that the secret behind the good results was as a result of team work and offering motivation talks to them.
She said they also discouraged the community from taking their daughters to get married at a tender age but ensure they are in class, adding that early pregnancies and early marriages have significantly dropped.
“I used to tell them if they work hard they will be like me and they have demonstrated that in the results we received. Am a happy mother after producing the best girl in my region,” she said.
“The government also put in place stringent measures to those who were preying on the girl since those found culpable are jailed between 10-20 years as per the Education Act of 2013. This made our girls safe,” she added.
In an interview with County Guardian News in Kakamega town, Evelyn Tiany, the director of Applegate Academy said the goods results that were posted by girls in this year’s KCPE exams was due to the fact that the care of the girl child has been enhanced.
“Boys have always left from the front line as the girls lagged behind but with the concerted efforts by NGOs,Ministry of Education and other stakeholders to empower the girl child, this are the now the results of work well done,” said Ms Tiany.
Ms Tiany said that when the girl child is taken care in an enabling environment can deliver the desired saying the Ministry of Education should now ensure that girls are kept in school in a bid to put off predators who want to cash on them through forced marriages, child labour ad female genital mutilation.
Goldalyn Kakuya from St Anne Academy in Lubao, Kakamega is now the talk of the town after emerging the top girl in the country after scoring 455 marks in KCPE.
Speaking after being received by Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya, she said that after realizing that she was the top girl in the country, she was excited saying her dream has been achieved.
Goldalyn who is living with albinism said the girl child should be treated equal to the boy child and asked the society to stop discriminating them.
“What the boy child can do, we can also do better. We have proved our haters wrong this year by setting the trend,” she said.
She said hard work, discipline and taking into consideration the advice the teachers and parents gave her was the secret behind her sterling performance.
Electine Barasa and her twin sister Celestine Barasa scored 430marks and 415 marks respectively. They were schooling at Jilca Junior Academy in Kakamega North.
Electine Barasa told County Guardian News that boys used to behave like they cannot be defeated by them and vowed to work hard to teach them a lesson. Girls at this school scooped the first five positions.
Tracy Sakwa from Kakamega Primary School scored 433 marks in class of over 150 candidates.
Following this exemplary performance, Kakamega Governor Wycliffe Oparanya said his government will foot the entire tuition fee next year and also do shopping for the top girls in the County.
Top candidates will get sh100, 000 for school fees and an additional sh50,000 for shopping.
And Applegate Academy is the best school in Kakamega County after recording a mean score of 393.50.
Applegate director Evelyn Tiany said the secret behind posting good results this was due to teamwork and ensuring that candidates complete syllabus when in standard seven saying when they enter standard eight they embark on thorough revision.
Ms. Tiany said they also ensure the teachers are well motivated by paying them well and more so taking them for further training and seminars to enhance their skills
“In 2015 we had a mean score of 376.07, 2016 we recorded a mean score of 381.86 and this year we had 393.50. We have posted upward trend for the last three years and we are up to task to produce the best candidate cum next year,” she said.