Kenya produces too many ‘useless’ A grades- KNEC board chairman Prof George Magoha

Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Board Chairman Prof George Magoha is not pleased with the fact that secondary and primary schools churn out so many ‘fake’ A grades.

The former University of Nairobi vice chancellor has told Kenyans to expect fewer As in the just concluded Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations because of tighter quality controls put in place this year.

Magoha recently told Kisumu Boys’ High School students that in his 38 years in academia, he had seen many A grade students who could not study medicine and other ‘A material’ courses in university.

“Marking of examinations will be tightly monitored and supervised, just the way the examinations were guarded,” said Magoha.

He reiterated the fact that the education system was headed for the dogs, prompting the government to stamp its feet this year to end rampant cheating.

“We had got to a stage where Kenyan examination certificates were being questioned elsewhere and the holders even re-examined. That is to say that our certificates are about to become worthless,” said Magoha.

He said that in any population, the ‘A materials’ fall between 5-10 per cent, and therefore, Kenya being a normal country, we cannot keep producing As that surpass what would be a normal distribution curve.

“Anything outside that bracket (of 5-10 per cent) is suspicious or extraordinary, and for a school to have 96.6 per cent scoring A, then that is stupidity of the highest level and nobody should be associated with it,” said Magoha.

He said Kenyans’ obsession with the A grade had pushed the matter too far, leading even those who do not have the capacity to strive by hook or crook to get the A grade.

“Our country has over-emphasised individual ‘letter performances’, which are just letters,” he said.