The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) has recommended changes in the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) grading system.
The team, which submitted its report to President William Ruto on Tuesday, wants KNEC to drop the current grading system for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam (KCSE).
The team recommends that KNEC’s computation of the KCSE exam mean score be based on Mathematics, English or Kiswahili, and five other subjects where a learner performs well.
Currently, the grading system for KCSE considers seven subjects, including English and Kiswahili, Mathematics, two Science subjects, and two other subjects.
The team said this computation disadvantages some learners whose best-performing subjects are not considered, if not within the cluster.
“The noteworthy point is that both English and Kiswahili gauge the student’s literacy, while Mathematics and Science subjects assess the student’s numeracy,” stated the panel.
The sweeping proposal will see students who do not do well in English still qualify for courses including Medicine, Law, and Engineering; the courses currently require higher grades in English without regard to performance in Kiswahili.
The move will also see learners who score well in Kiswahili proceed to study Education at the university level despite failing in English.
Over the recent past, universities have raised the cluster points for some courses, including Education, with those seeking to study Education required to have at least a C (Plain) in English.
However, under the fresh proposals, universities will consider either English or Kiswahili, while KNEC will also not consider both subjects while computing mean grades.
“Students who do not achieve satisfactory grades in the exams often abandon their education, contributing to a substantial loss of our youthful population.” the report read in part.