The Principal Secretary (PS) for Basic Education, Belio Kipsang, elucidated the functioning of the new grading system for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
During a Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) event on Monday, Kipsang emphasized that the revamped grading system would primarily concentrate on five core subjects pertinent to a student’s specialization.
He further highlighted that the system aims to assess a student’s literacy and numeracy proficiencies.
These five subjects will constitute a cluster, representing a shift from the current practice of considering all subjects pursued by a student in the grading calculation.
“A student with the ability and interest in medicine or engineering need not be prevented from qualifying for the courses just because a subject that was used to grade him pulled down his overall Mean Grade,” Kipsang stated.
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This change aligns with the task force’s recommendations, which advocated altering the national examinations’ grading system.
Ps Kipsang contended that the prevailing grading system initially intended for certification, might have disadvantaged some students aspiring to pursue specialized careers.
“The current policy thrust of education is not only keen on ensuring that all children attend school,” the PS added.
In the CBC task force recommendations, it was proposed that the categorization of secondary schools be discontinued. Instead, the task force proposed aligning secondary schools with learners’ career pathways, allowing students to choose schools based on offered subjects and career aspirations.
Led by Prof Raphael Munavu, the Working Party also recommended renaming the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) to the Kenya National Assessment Council (KNAC) for better alignment with the proposed changes.
To ensure quality, the team further proposed a shift in focus from mandatory subjects, granting students the flexibility to choose subjects aligning with their interests.
At the moment, students in Junior High School are expected to study a total of 14 subjects.