Ministry of Education to Regrade KCSE Exams
The Ministry of Education intends to redesign the grading structure for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in order to better match students’ aptitudes and interests. The Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Belio Kipsang, announced the move, emphasizing that the new grading system will take into account students’ literacy and numeracy skills.
The proposed adjustments will shift the grading system away from rating students across subject clusters and toward considering the best five subjects in their total grading. This is a deviation from the typical strategy that has been in place since the implementation of the 8.4.4 educational system.
PS Kipsang presented these developments at a briefing on the progress of the proposals given by the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) to the National Assembly’s Departmental Committee on Education. During this briefing, Kipsang represented Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu.
The PWPER recommended that the KCSE grading system be reviewed in order to match it with international norms for student assessment. Kipsang highlighted that in the national education system, grading is used for certification rather than student placement in higher education. He claimed that the combination of certification and placement had harmed pupils of various abilities and interests.
To address this, the new grade scheme will take literacy and numeracy ability into account. Students in the remaining cohort of the 8.4.4 system, on the other hand, will have their marks based on achievement in five disciplines in addition to their scores in Mathematics and either English or Kiswahili.
This modification is intended to ensure that students with specific interests, such as medicine or engineering, are not prevented from pursuing their selected courses because of poor performance in other areas.
Kipsang further stated that the government intends to involve National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) in the County Education Board (CEB) system. The incorporation of County Commissioners into CEB is viewed as a means of enforcing regulations and promoting peace in a culturally varied educational environment.
Overall, the PWPER guidelines aim to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of education service delivery. The goal is to create an ideal learning experience for all children, regardless of their socioeconomic background or physical and mental impairments.
During the briefing, Hon. Malulu Injendi, the Departmental Committee’s Deputy Chair, underlined the necessity of the Committee knowing the dynamics of these reforms in order to support the PWPER’s policy and legislative proposals.
Several senior officials attended the ceremony, including the Director General and chief executive officers of state businesses under the Ministry of Education.