Kenya: Six Years of Top Performance for Bridge Kenya Pupils

opinion

It is remarkable that Bridge Kenya pupils have just posted their best ever set of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam results.

The 2020 candidates whose results were announced by Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha last week faced unprecedented challenges due to the ravaging Covid-19 pandemic.

The fact that they sat the 2020 exams in the year 2021 is testament to the disruption Covid-19 pandemic caused a crucial year in their education. Schools, including Bridge

Kenya schools, were closed for much of 2020 and all pupils were forced to study remotely.

In addition to the Covid-19 disruption, the communities we serve face logistical challenges, including a lack of access to computers and the cost of data. Learning from home required innovative ways to help parents access teaching materials and keep children learning while schools were closed.

Despite that, Bridge Kenya pupils sitting the KCPE - more than 2,000 of them - scored an average of 21 points higher than pupils nationally, the highest in Bridge Kenya history. For the sixth year in succession, Bridge Kenya pupils outperformed the national average.

Four pupils achieved 400 marks or more putting them in the top 0.68 percent of pupils nationally. An amazing 34 percent scored more than 300 marks, which gives a competitive edge in admission to good secondary schools. Nationally less than 25 percent of pupils achieved such high scores.

Our best performing boy was Morara Chrispo Oseko from Tassia Community in Nairobi, with an outstanding score of 413. His mum runs a community stall and his brother, also at Bridge, already had a lot to live up to in Chrispo.

Wonderful KCPE results

"I'm very happy to have achieved such an amazing mark, its life changing. I'm so proud to be among the top pupils in Kenya. My school and my teachers made me believe

that I can achieve my dreams if I study hard," the pupil said.

Our top performing girl was Betty Kimberly from Lumakanda in Kakamega County, who scored 411 marks out of a possible 500 marks. It took her nearly an hour to walk to school each day; and as head girl, she was already a role model in the community before her KCPE score put her as one of the best performers in the country.

Bridge Kenya pupils have excelled in the KCPE since 2015 and are often among the top performers in the country, despite coming from some of the most underserved communities.

The school network has built a strong record of accelerated learning through nurturing growth and instilling an approach to learning based on discipline and confidence. It was a foundation that was tested fully in 2020, and needed more than ever over the last year.

This year's KCPE cohort faced extremely challenging disruption to their studies. Despite the impact of Covid-19 on the country's education system, Bridge Kenya KCPE candidates went on with learning at home using the Bridge@home learning resources, a free programme designed to help keep our pupils engaged, entertained, and most importantly learning.

The programme contained resources that were mainly based upon the technologies and access that parents and pupils already used in their daily lives. The programme took parents through clear and simple steps to access schoolwork for their children. They included lesson guides, digital storybooks, self-study activity packs and mobile interactive quizzes. Virtual classrooms kept teachers at the heart of learning and constant community engagement enabled advice and support to be always close at hand.

The wonderful KCPE results achieved by our pupils are proof of its success and reward for their hard work and determination and that of their parents and Bridge Kenya teachers in ensuring they were able to give of their very best, even in the hardest of times.

The writer is the Academics Director at Bridge Kenya Schools.

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