KNEC Assigns Compulsory Subjects to determine Overall KCSE Grade
KNEC Assigns Compulsory Subjects to determine Overall KCSE Grade. As a result of modifications to the grading system, millions of pupils who received less than an 8-4-4 on their Form Four national examinations will have more opportunity to improve their final results.
At a meeting with the team working on education reforms to amend the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE), President William Ruto approved the new recommendations.
The Presidential Working Party for Education Reform has proposed two obligatory subjects that must be used to calculate the learners’ final KCSE grades.
Mathematics and one language (English or Kiswahili) will be required subjects.
These two subjects, together with the candidate’s top five subjects, will be factored into the final score.
The Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) currently evaluates applicants based on their performance in two additional themes in addition to the five required subjects.
Knec considers a candidate’s performance in two sciences (from Biology, Chemistry, and Physics), two mandatory languages (English and Kiswahili), and one mandatory subject (Mathematics).
The final two subjects include Religious Education, Geography, History, Business Studies, Agriculture, and other technical courses.
The reform committee recommended, among other things, “developing guidelines for calculating the average KCSE score (based on English/Kiswahili, Mathematics, and five other best subjects).”
Within a year, the team proposed implementing the improvements. As a result, if the new proposal is implemented, the 2023 candidates will profit first.
According to President William Ruto’s remarks on Wednesday, almost 5,000 of the country’s 11,000 secondary schools, the vast majority of which are located in rural areas, do not send a single student to college.
He remarked that it gave them a reason to reflect on their lives. Many of the students who attended their institutions, according to Ruto, were those whose parents could afford to pay for a higher level of education and those whose children attended academies.
He stated that the situation needed to be reassessed since Kenya could not continue in this manner.
President Ruto delivered a speech during the launch of the Open University of Kenya in Konza Technopolis City.
KNEC CEO David Njengere commended the changes and stated that the current grading system has shattered many graduates’ hopes.
The adjustments, according to Dr. Njengere, will prevent students in the final five 8-4-4 classes from attaining their goals.
Currently, the country’s 8-4-4 educational system has five parts. The KCPE exam will be taken this year by the final generation, who will begin secondary school in 2024 and graduate in 2027.
Dr. Njengere asserts that the Presidential working group’s recommendations will revamp the evaluation system to reflect the student’s career interests.
Njengere explained that the main disadvantage of the 8-4-4 system was its strict and severely constrained curriculum.
Following the completion of the system, every child was apparently required to take the same examinations, regardless of their individual skills.
This testing had a big impact on their final grade. He went on to say that the curriculum encompassed a wide range of subjects, making it difficult for any child to keep up.
According to Njengere, comprehending the problem necessitates a detailed examination of the KCSE’s design. He mentioned that the test was designed with two goals in mind.
The first, according to Dr. Njengere, is an appraisal of the students’ performance over the course of their four years of secondary education.
He claims that the second function is to determine if a pupil will attend college or university.
Dr. Njengere claims that the latter has produced dissatisfaction among many Form Four graduates because it dilutes their overall success.
According to him, the cascading effect prevents thousands of people from completing their secondary school.
Because of the heated rivalry in the final exam, the KCSE, according to Njengere, has been reduced to a test that determines the student’s destiny without regard for its evaluation aim.
Dr. Njengere stated in an interview that the curriculum’s criteria are not meant to discourage people from making life transitions, regardless of age or academic achievement.
He emphasized that transitioning is critical and should not be hampered in any manner.
He offered the example of a social science applicant who needs to pass two science courses in order to avoid having their final grade decreased and being rejected from their desired degree.
KNEC assigns compulsory subjects to KCSE students in order to establish their overall grade.
According to Dr. Njengere, no matter how well they performed in the humanities and languages, three specific themes would have a negative impact on their overall grade.
As a result, they expected to receive an average grade, most likely a C, which they assumed would be due to the system’s needs rather of their own incompetence.
“We are punishing the students,” he went on to say. For example, we waste system resources when we expect a student who excels in one topic to also pass another, such as English and the humanities.
Students interested in science who need to be assessed in English, literature, Kiswahili, and Fasihi are in the same boat.
The Presidential working group expressed concern about the requirement of some topics potentially limiting students who want to pursue a specific career path after secondary school that does not require excellent grades in all subjects.
Dr. Njengere believes that all subjects are vital for acquiring core skills such as literacy and numeracy, even for students who will not utilize them in the workplace.
But he insists that there must be a clear distinction between acquiring this critical information and grading the kid on the KCSE tests.
He said that they would assess the individual’s performance because they required basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Furthermore, it became evident that Kenya had been ranked lower than other countries under the present grading system.
Kenya has the fewest distinctions, or Grade A and A- (minus) in the final national test, according to a review of information from the East African region.
Kenya’s results, on the other hand, were only 0.85%. This means that only 7,553 of the total number of candidates received a Grade A or A- (minus), which is equivalent to a distinction in Uganda and Tanzania.
“At this point, you begin to wonder if the problem isn’t the students themselves, but rather the way our children are graded.” “Perhaps we are using a system that is a little bit too punitive for them, and we are not distinguishing between achievement and placement,” Dr. Njengere suggested.
The following comparison results from taking the final secondary school exams under the 8-4-4 and 7-4-2-3 systems, respectively:
According to the study, 3,509 test takers (3.21 percent) received Division 1, the highest O-level mark, between 1983 and 1986.
However, after the 8-4-4 was implemented, the numbers dropped dramatically.
In 1989, for example, only one applicant out of 130,639 received an A on the KCSE. In 1990, there were 131,932 candidates, but none received an A. In 1991, only two out of 166,712 applicants received an A.
The best results were in 2014, but only 0.635% of all candidates received an A, despite widespread exam cheating and malpractice prior to the 2016 revisions.
“Assuming widespread cheating,” he said, “we would not be able to award even one percent of the applicant pool with the highest grade.”