Final KCPE exams are taken, the 8.4.4 system comes to a close.
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam, which has been administered annually since 1985 and is considered a pillar of the Kenyan education system, is ending after nearly four decades. On Monday, 1,415,315 students will take these national exams, signaling the end of a frenzied push for academic excellence. The last day of these three-day tests is Wednesday, November 1.
With the release of the 39th edition of the KCPE, the 8-4-4 era in elementary schools has come to an end, and a new 2-6-3-3-3 system has been implemented as part of the CBC.
This year’s tests will run in tandem with the brand-new Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA), which is a component of the CBC and is given to sixth graders. This year, 1,282,574 students are registered to take the KPSEA.
A total of 24,906,837 students have taken the KCPE during the course of its 38-year history. Learners in the new CBC system take Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) at the end of Grades 4, 5, and 6; these tests count toward the learner’s final grade at the completion of primary school.
The learner’s cumulative score will not be used to decide their placement in a secondary school, unlike the KCPE. Instead, it will provide elementary school administrators with data on how their pupils are performing academically.
Additional exams in Grade 9 and Grade 12 will help students decide whether to go to high school and college. The move to the CBC is a reaction to cases of cheating in the past, which prompted stringent security measures, the costly printing of tests in other countries, and the difficulty of maintaining exam integrity.
The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has assured the public that all precautions have been taken to ensure the integrity of these examinations. Multiple agency teams will be sent to test locations across the country to guarantee the exams go off without a hitch.
The Mackay Report of 1981 advocated a change from the 7-4-2-3 system to the 8-4-4 framework, and the introduction of the KCPE exam in 1985 under the 8-4-4 system marked a significant transition in Kenya’s educational environment.
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