The dust raised by 2016 KCSE results having settled, I wish to analyse the data in order to separate the lies from the truth .Yes to separate the sheep from the goats ,figuratively speaking.Opinion was divided on what was reported in the news and discussed in by-ways and highways about the results ,especially on the issue of whether the results exhibited the expected normal distribution curve.
Now A normal distribution is a bell shaped curve. The data tended to cluster around the Average score. The further data points are from the mean the less possible the data point will actually occur. Many things such as height and intelligence follow a normal distribution curve. For example if we measured the heights of randomly selected 300 men and plotted the their heights on x axis and frequencies on y axis we will get a normal curve.That is what is expected and can verified.
In this little project I set out to find out if KCSE results for 2016 describe a normal curve.Then as a matter of course I will offer my two pence about it.And for your information ,I will disappoint you if you expect spin or politics in my analysis.
To investigate the problem,I laid my hands on the KCSE results data from online sources and newspapers reports for the Years 2016,2015 and 2014.KNEC (Kenya National Examination Council) does not provide aggregate data on KCSE results to the public who incidental are tax payers that fund the parastatal. Can’t they provide some data down load to the citizen?.But then that is beside the point here.
Once I had obtained my raw data, I did the customary data cleansing then uploaded the data into my dataframe .please click here to view the dataframe .Fresh KCSE 2016 results analysis.In the interest for those who would like to verify my analysis,I used Python computer programming language to analyse these data.
My findings and recommendations
First the KCSE 2016 results curve is abnormal and looks strange. Its skewed with more than 50% of the students failing to score the average marks.The mean-score for results is a D+(plus). The mode is D-Minus( grade with highest number of students.And finally the median is 285,604th student with a D-Plain.This means half of the students who sat for the exams obtained D-Plain and below. And on average the students posted D+(plus) performance.In all honesty ,this is not music to the ears of parents and education stakeholders in this country.
In my personal opinion its because most school do not have the facilities to meet the learning needs of this students.Also its possible the a majority of our Teachers are not equal to the task of teaching in 21 century.Small wonder most high flying schools are reported to have resorted to cheating if recent reports in media is anything to go by.
Lastly this dismal results could be attributed to the perceived culture of cheating among the high and mighty in our political arena.This perception began with the bungled 2007/2008 General election .All and sundry agree that we will never know who won the election,but it was reported that both sides in the contest engaged in one or other nefarious activities.From that time,our teachers and students took that as clue.You get what you want in life not by honesty and hard work;rather by being “clever”.You rig the system in your favor.That why national school with first class KCPE pupils ,are reported to have engaged in cheating on a massive scale in recent history.That beats logic.Why should you cheat when you have students who could and can score A plain through diligence and discipline?.
Approximately 68% of the students should have scored between C-minus and C-plus( i.e 388,421).Instead only 138,025 students attained that score.This means about 250,396 students who have the ability to score between C-minus and C-Plus scores failed to do so.This begs the question,why is that the case?
The grade that most students scored in 2016 is D-( about 150,000 students) compared with D-plain in 2015 (about 80,000) and D-plus in 2014 ( with about 76 ,000 students). E -grade had higher number of students in 2016(33,000) than in 2015 (about 5000 Students)and 2014 ( with about 6,000 students).The A-s and B-s grades compares relatively well with normal curve distribution pattern.However the number of A-Plains in 2016 at 141 is un-believably low.
Surprisingly the years 2015 and 2014 KCSE result are skewed but at least there is close resemblance to a normal distribution.These are years reported to have experienced a lot of exam leakage and cheating.Does it mean Kenya students requires cheating in order to post a normal distribution curve results?.This an area that require further investigation to get the insights about this absurd phenomena.Hon Matiangi should be applauded for beginning the process of draining the swamp in the education sector.The high water was hiding problems in the,sector.The strange look of the curves,should tell you a lot need to done,before the sector returns to minimum of norms expected from it.
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