Now that the 2017 KCSE exams are out, I think it’s the perfect time to share an exam-cheating-inception story. I hope it will all make sense in the end.
I had a professor in Campus who would gave us completely brutal assignments. Much, much harder than the work we had been exposed to previously in class, and it was worth like 30% of the final grade.
In desperation, I once Googled one of the questions to see if I could find any forum posts on similar problems. Guess what? I ended up finding out that the professor had lifted an assignment in its entirety from another university’s website. That website also provided the answers to the questions, which I definitely lifted. 😉
In retrospect, I’m pretty sure the professor knew what I did, but couldn’t call me out without exposing that she had lifted the assignments from elsewhere, rather than writing it like she was supposed to.
What’s my point? No one likes assignments or exam. In fact, it’s probably a fair generalization to say that most students despise them, teachers hate marking them, and education administrators loath coordinating them. To top it all off, exams are pretty expensive to run, ask Matiang’i.
So the question remains, what are exams good for? And what does any of this have to do with digital marketing in Kenya?
Aggregating & Sharing KCSE 2017 Exams Results, Just like Sharing Digital Campaign Results is Critical for Growth
Exam results are typically aggregated data of all the students’ performance. With this consolidated data, we can:
- Profile The Education System in Kenya
Now that the 2017 KCSE results are out, we know that out of the 615,773 candidates who registered for the tests that were done in 9,350 centres between November 6 and 29, only 70,073 qualified for University.
However, if you were to search how many digital marketers are in Kenya or how many digital campaigns were done in 2017, what do you think you will find? Just go on, Google…I’ll be waiting for your answer.
- Benchmark Education Space in Kenya
The results from standardized national exams serves a crucial indicators for stakeholders to identify how teachers, schools and provincial education systems are performing- both over time and over location. I mean, who isn’t wondering what Maseno teachers and students have been up to?
Unfortunately, digital marketers in Kenya only have a vague idea of how the industry is performing. Some of us get awards now and then but the results that warrant the award are never shared; it’s like Matiang’i deciding to only announce the top student’s name (Naomi Kawira) without her results (A).
So if you were to approach a “vaping” company in Morocco, with a digital strategy to tap into East Africa’s growing middle class, you wouldn’t have any industry report to describe the market with. Only that Kenyans love Facebook. Meanwhile, Naomi Kawira has all the data she needs.
- Monitor Performance
By comparing 2017 KCSE results to 2016’s results, we can tell whether the performance is improving or deteriorating. Also, by comparing the results among different schools, we can troubleshoot whether a drop in performance indicates a school-specific problem or student-specific issue.
In contrast, while the MSK Gala and APA awards just happened the other day, you might know which brand had the best digital strategy for product launching but do you know who had the worst or can your compare digital marketing campaigns in 2017 against those run in 2016? Do you even know what KPIs were being measured? Neither do I. See where I’m going with this?
- Predict Best Schools for Students
By tracking a student’s results overtime, the administrators can easily match the schools that would provide a ‘value add’ for the students. I mean there’s no need sending a student who excels in physics to Utalii College.
Similarly, if digital marketers had access to aggregated campaign results, we wouldn’t have a digital marketers shooting in the dark, repeating the same mistakes over and over again because they have no idea what marketing channels are best for their products and services.
- Enhanced Transparency in Budgeting
What is the relationship between resources and performance? To what point does an increase in funds cease to affect performance? The transparency provided by exam results data help in budgeting and preventing wastage or fraud.
On the same vein, they say digital marketing is supposed to be cheaper and more effective than traditional forms of marketing, think Billboard advertising; but who can prove this? We can’t even tell what’s the minimum amount being spent on Facebook ads to provide results, let alone predict results for the allocated budget.
The Remedy: Let’s Share Data for Improved Digital Campaign Performance
What we need to do in 2018 is clear. We need to aggregate our digital marketing campaign data so we all know what we are up to, where we are headed and how to steer in the right direction.
Granted, no one likes the idea of sharing their data, it’s supposed to be personal and locked away safely; but why would you pay to store gigabytes of data if you are not using it?
Better yet, think of it like this, now that Goldalyn Kakuya of St Anne Junior Lubao in Kakamega County was the top performer in 2017 KCPE exams with a total marks of 455, does this mean other students will copy her strategy to outdo her in KCSE exams in 2021?
That’s exactly how you sound when you say you don’t want to share data.
Or do you have something to hide?
If not, join this FB group and let’s start the journey towards effective digital marketing campaigns in Kenya.