KCSE’S NEW GRADING SYSTEM WILL IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS.
Knec latest news.In the latest developments from the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC), significant changes are on the horizon for the grading of national Form Four exams, aimed at benefiting millions of students in grades 8-4 and lower.
In this article, we’ll explore the key reforms, their potential impact, and why they are crucial for Kenya’s education system.
The Proposed KCSE Grading Changes
In recent discussions with the education reform team, President William Ruto endorsed new proposals to overhaul the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE). These proposed changes include:
New Subjects for KCSE Grading
The Presidential Working Party for Education Reform has suggested introducing two mandatory subjects for KCSE grading.
Understanding this proposal, students will be required to excel in Mathematics and choose between English and Kiswahili.
Their performance in these subjects, along with their top five subjects, will determine their final scores.
Rethinking the Grading System
Currently, KNEC calculates a student’s final grade based on their performance in five required subjects and the two highest-scoring electives.
These subjects include Math, English, Kiswahili, and two science subjects of the candidate’s choice.
However, the reforms team is proposing a more balanced approach, aiming to create guidelines for calculating the KCSE mean score based on English/Kiswahili, Math, and the five best subjects.
President Ruto’s Concerns about College Intake
President William Ruto recently raised concerns about Kenya’s college and university enrollment.
He pointed out that more than 5,000 out of 11,000 secondary schools in the country fail to send students to higher education institutions.
Many of these schools are situated in rural areas, prompting a need for a significant change in Kenya’s education approach.
KNEC CEO Supports Reform
KNEC CEO David Njengere has expressed strong support for the proposed changes.He highlights how the current grading system has often crushed the dreams of students and believes that these reforms will provide hope and opportunities for those in the final five 8-4-4 classes.
Flexibility in Subject Selection
The current 8-4-4 system presents a rigid curriculum where all students take the same tests regardless of their individual strengths.
Dr. Njengere emphasizes the importance of examining the structure of KCSE and its dual purpose in evaluating student progress and determining eligibility for college and university.
The Impact of Grading on Student Choices
Dr. Njengere highlights the detrimental effects of the current grading system, where intense competition on the final exam limits educational opportunities.
He gives an example of a candidate who excels in sciences but struggles in English and humanities, indicating that the system penalizes students for their choices.
Holistic Grading Approach
The proposed reforms aim to consider a student’s intended field of study and move away from the one-size-fits-all approach.
Dr. Njengere emphasizes the need to assess foundational knowledge separately from student performance, providing a more inclusive and flexible system.
Addressing Limited Distinctions
The current grading system in Kenya has been criticized for its limited distinctions, with very few students earning top grades (A and A+).
Dr. Njengere speculates that the grading system may be too harsh and fails to differentiate between performance and placement.
The proposed changes are expected to bring substantial improvements to the Kenyan education system by allowing students to pursue their preferred fields of study without unnecessary limitations.
These reforms will create a more balanced and flexible grading system that caters to individual strengths and aspirations, ultimately benefitting the educational landscape in Kenya.
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