Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo has told teachers and parents not to force pupils to repeat. He said there are no indications that making pupils to repeat classes improves performance.
"Repeating does not add value to learners' achievement even if parents and teachers want them to do so. Schools that force pupils to repeat must be reported," Mutula said.
Results for KCPE 2012 improved in 2012 with 416,900 candidates getting above 250 marks. This represents 51.35 per cent of the candidates who sat for the examination, compared to 48.26 per cent in 2011.
A total of 811,930 candidates sat for the exams. This means 395,030 scored below 250 marks. The minister said a research by the Kenya National Examination Council reveals that making pupils to repeat classes has a negative effect on learning and performance.
Mutula said 41.46 per cent of candidates in the 2012 KCPE scored below 100 marks. He said most of them were aged 17 and above. "Such candidates are usually repeaters, " he said.
This age group also accounted for the least number of candidates (6.63 per cent) who scored above 300 marks and above.
He said the highest number of overage pupils are from Kilifi and Kakamega counties which registered 11,794 and 10,370 candidates respectively.
The minister asked directors of education of the two counties to investigate this trend and identify the reasons behind the situation and take appropriate corrective action. Mutula said the improved performance is an indicator that children can perform well even without extra tuition.