KCSE results were released yesterday and the country saw the same diminishing returns in terms of grades above the magical cut-off mark. Many students will thus be unable to get into public universities that have the advantage of cheaper fees and most times boarding facilities.
So for the failures left out in the cold, they will either have to fork out expensive fees for parallel courses or join costly private universities. And you know how well Kenyans are doing, with such a great economy!
The story starts in 2016 when Carren Ouma wrote her Form Four exams and scored a C minus at Osingo Secondary in Migori County. Carren was not happy with the score and decided to take one more stab at the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) tests.
Carren believed she had the potential of making it to university and decided to reseat the paper. That meant spending another year in school. She went to the extent of changing schools— from Osingo Secondary to a Kuria-based institution.
Like the rest of the candidates who wanted to know their fate, Carren was restless. She spent hours chasing her results online and offline. She sent SMSes and even logged on to Kenya National Examinations Council website just to know how she had performed.
When she found out the results, instead of a grade that would make the toil and struggle worth it, her grades displeased her. Why? She had maintained her C minus grade. For this reason, she committed suicide, according to her parents and the local chief.
“She first sat her exams at Osingo Secondary before moving to a school in Kuria and still ended up getting the same grade.”
Police later took the body to Migori County Referral Hospital mortuary.
Hundreds of thousands of this year’s Form Four leavers have been locked out of universities and other tertiary institutions. The results released on Wednesday indicate that only 70,073 out of the 611,952 candidates-just 11.5 percent-managed the minimum university entry qualification of mean grade C+.
My opinion. This is so tragic that teenagers believe that their lives are over at 18 if they have not got a grade that society considers a success.