At the end of every school year, the top grades at both the primary and high school levels take part in the national standardized test.
These exams are crucial in a learner’s life because it is standardized across the whole nation and places their academic performance in context with the rest of the students in the area, the county and the country. It is an important measure of a school’s average performance against other schools, both locally and nationally.
At the end of the 2018 school year, six of our nine primary schools participated in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education national exam. Baraka Shalom Primary School sat for the exam for the first time in the school’s history. The rest of our schools have done the exams in previous years.
In our oldest school, Shalom Primary School, we had the largest class size (78 students) taking the exam. They had an average score of 205 out of 500 points. The school’s average dropped from that of the 2017 school year due to the larger class size and the particular dynamics of that class. In Kimugul Primary School in the Lemolo A community, the class had an average score of 216 points with just 19 candidates, a drop from 228 points in the 2017 academic year. In the neighbouring Sinendet Primary School, they had a slight improvement: from 203 points in 2017 to 204 points in 2018.
Our newest school, Saramek Primary had an average score of 221 points. This was a one-point improvement from the previous year. They also produced the second-best student in all our schools, with a score of 375 points.
Baraka Shalom Primary School
The primary school that performed best was Baraka Shalom Primary. It was their debut year and they had an average score of 283 points with 26 students in the pioneering grade 8 class. The school’s good performance makes it among the best public schools in the county and it had the best exam performance in its school district. Baraka Shalom ranked 249th out of 979 schools in the county, taking into account both public schools and private academies.
Our Schools’ Performance in National Exams
This performance has encouraged our efforts as we move to invest more into our existing schools in the next phase of our program: “Making It Awesome.” With more investment and deliberate effort, our schools can perform even better and even beat the private academies in the vicinity. Saramek Primary outperformed the nearby private school and is now more attractive to parents who are well off and can afford to educate their kids in private school — using a fraction of the resources held by the private academies.
Only Springs High School (one of our three high schools) took part in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) national exam. This exam is important to a learner because it charts their next course of action and even the career they will go into. A candidate has to score C+ and above to qualify to join a university. With anything below that, the candidate can join a diploma college (akin to a community college) or a trade school. In Springs High School we had three students qualify to join university with all of them getting B- in the exam. These three students will attend public universities in September of this year. The rest of the students performed well for a day secondary school, beating most day secondary schools in their area.
Sam, Senior Field Rep