The class of 2016 graduated last December after completing their “big scary school career-end test” called the Kenyan Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). The KCSE is a comprehensive exam testing student’s’ last four years of knowledge and is used to determine what caliber of post-secondary school to which a student may be admitted. Even if a student doesn’t typically experience test anxiety, he or she probably does for this one.
This year 31 students took the KCSE. Of the exam-takers, 15 scored a composite C- or higher and 16 scored a composite D or D-. one did not pass. Although it may sound low to American ears, the Kenyan system based on the old British system does not have “grade creep” and a “C” is truly average. Further, the KCSE test was thought to be more difficult than in prior years, so grades may be slightly skewed compared to students’ typical performance.
Since December, the class of 2016 has been busy at our local office completing a computer certificate course, soft skills training, and preparing their school applications. Four students are expected to join university this year. Six are expected to receive additional government sponsorships for their education because of their test scores.
Some of the standouts from the class of 2016 include:
Rose Adhiambo: Rose was granted a government scholarship after scoring a composite B on her KCSE. She attended one of the most prestigious secondary schools in Kenya after having scored 333 out of 500 on her 8th grade exam, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, a similar test structure to the KCSE but for 8th graders. Rose is finalizing her post-secondary plans. Rose is sponsored by Steve and Judy Lewis.
Francis Githinji: Francis scored a composite C+ on his KCSE and is applying to attend Jomo Kenyatta University to become a veterinarian. He learned about the field through Bimeda Veterinary Supply Company in Kenya, a close supporter and friend to the organization. Francis is sponsored by Andy and Heidi Walz.
Timothy Mukolwe: Timothy has been a strong leader in the class of 2016. He discovered his passion to lead during our leadership camp and continued to develop his skills as the president of his class. Being a class president in Kenya comes with significant responsibility as students live on campus in dormitories and are held accountable to various chores and tasks by the class president. Timothy scored a C on his KCSE, not as high as he had hoped, but he still attained a government scholarship and plans to study environmental management. Timothy is sponsored by Francis and Maura Roby.
Sponsors of the class of 2016 will receive finalized student plans in September once students have been accepted to the schools and programs to which they are applying.