Media shortcomings in reporting about exam results

KCSE 2017

KCSE being adminstered (courtesy Phoebe Okall for Daily Nation)

A friend of mine who did KCSE texted me asking if the results were going to be released on Wednesday. I was not so sure whether it was going to be that day. I decide to run it by a few friends but no one knows whether it is true. So I decided to tell her there was no such thing, come 11:35 am it seemed like I was reading the wrong headlines when I saw the release of the 2017 results.

The Cabinet Secretary who is recognized for pulling surprises every single time did not disappoint even the media itself is always known to be caught off guard by this man. The results are just another shocking reminder of the rot that is in the education system that needs to be fixed.

The problem being the examinations and the process that is followed, the process of examinations begins with the setting of any paper, the administering of the paper to students, invigilating, marking, tabulation of results and the assigning of grades and ranks where deemed necessary.

These processes culminate with the announcement of the results by the Cabinet Secretary in charge of education.  The process has been considered so far the best in recent years with a lot of things undergoing change that includes the safeguarding of examinations to avoid any kind of leakage to students, strict searches and invigilation by the examination officers.

The remaining part that needs to be reconsidered is the marking, and tabulation of results. The process of marking has been described as heated by 2 leading news papers. The first one being the Daily Nation which describes the process and how it was marked by teachers who worked until odd hours of morning in order to achieve the deadline that was set at 17th December the second one by Standard where they talked about the selection answers and how the teachers moved from tradition of agreeing on one marking scheme.

The process of awarding the grades through the grading system has also been questioned. The media needs to look into these issues that are being raised by Trade Union officials. There is a need to check the grading systems to at least expose the system used so that the public can know.

The fact that results have been released a couple of days after the marking was done is a bit alarming. Why the rush in releasing results if there has not been done a proper audit of the results in order to make sure that the process has been free and credible to students and they have gotten their true grade.

There is also a need for the media to have proper conversations as to what is ailing the education system. The results if they are to go by anyone should raise a lot of questions about the education system.  The examination body should release the reports as to what happened? The Teacher Service Commission should also be brought to task over the quality of the current and the new program being enrolled. This is where the real conversation should lie.

The media also needs to be accurate in reporting the factual data. For instance the instance the boy child has performed dismally can be challenged by the fact that still more boys will be able to make the university with a majority f them having ranged in the B+, B, B- or C+ category. Therefore the notion is a bit distorted and needs a bit of work.

The media must be ready to press for answers not just move on to the next big story that they find. There is need to look into these things properly (a cleaned microscope if I might add) if there is going to be any better results.


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