That was a great reason to rejoice and indeed a reward for hard work and dedication.
However, the concern then was that she was only the 11th best student in the country with boys scooping all the top ten positions. Indeed, that was quite a unique year since over the past two decades; a lot of emphasis had been placed to equate the girl child in terms of opportunities, rights and freedoms to that of their opposite gender.
Fast forward to yesterday when the Education CS, Fred Matiang’i released the results for this year’s national exam and seemingly as has been drummed over and over again, it appears that the tables have been turned and the boy child is now lagging behind. Social media has been awash with all kinds of posts; those of ridicule, apprehension and generally, obvious ignorance of the true state of matters. Needless to say, I was among those who were fretting even before an actual analysis of the results was done.
So it happens that actually, we seem to have attained parity but (and I don’t know how to put this best)…the boy child still triumphed over their female counterparts when you look at the bigger picture.
Yes, 6 of the top 10 students were girls with the top two positions being taken by the fairer gender and this was also replicated in the Top 10 schools on aggregate. This is a great achievement and highly commendable especially since for some reason, we seem to subject a dual assessment of almost all matters as Kenyans; whether be politics, sports and now even this insignificant and uncalled for ‘male vis-a-vis female’ battle.
A closer analysis reveals that the top grades were as follows;
A (81boys, 61 girls)
B+ (4596 Boys, 2748Girls)
A- (1813 boys, 901 girls)
B (7738 boys, 4890 girls)
B- (11631 boys, 7754 girls)….Tellingly, there were 70,073 students with C+ and above, with 41,687 (60%) being boys and 28,386 (40%) representing girls.
Why is this important?
Fake news is rampant and needs to be debunked. Secondly, it realigns our perspective and allows us to celebrate the great strides female empowerment has brought about. Critically, it evokes us to ask ourselves why is there an ever-growing feeling of neglect towards the boy child even on heretical stances and beliefs? Could there be an agenda that stems from a skewed promotion and glorification of the female’s achievements to the detriment of the boy child? I pose this question because; the situation we find ourselves in is eerily similar to how the KCPE results were received a few weeks ago. The second best student, a lad from Murang’a County only got publicity after the dust had settled on Goldlyn Kayuka’s amazing feat of conquering the over a million pupils who sat for their final primary school examination not too long ago. The girl from Kakamega County not only dined with the Head of State but also graced a University’s graduation ceremony and challenged those being given the power to read to aim even higher. But that is a story for another day.
No one remembers the runners up, or so the saying alludes but we ought to be more objective especially because ignorance is the ‘softest pillow on which a man can rest his head’ (Michel de Montaigne) and at the end of the day, we should all rejoice in everyone’s achievements and avoid the pitfall of making it a never-ending battle of ‘us vs. them’.
P.S. The word ‘Sieke’ isn’t a typo but a humorous rendition of the word ‘Siege’ as was pronounced by a famous Kenyan personality 😄