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KNEC reveals New, Improved Grading Method For KCSE 2023 Exams

KNEC reveals New, Improved Grading Method For KCSE 2023 Exams

Millions of 8-4-4 pupils may succeed if significant adjustments are made to the way the national fourth form exams are graded.

When he met with the Education Reforms Team, President William Ruto accepted fresh recommendations to reform the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).

The President’s Task Force on Education Reform recommends using the final scores of students from two required courses on the KCSE exam.

Mathematics and one of two languages—English or Kiswahili—will be mandatory topics.

The final grade will be computed by adding the candidate’s five best subjects and these two subjects.

Applicants are currently judged by the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) depending on how well they perform in two additional topics and their five required subjects.

Knec considers a candidate’s performance in two sciences from among physics, chemistry, and biology as well as the three mandatory sciences of arithmetic, English, and Kiswahili.

The final two subjects are chosen from technical fields including agriculture, business studies, geography, and history as well as from the humanities and arts disciplines.

The reform committee recommends creating guidelines for calculating the average KCSE score (based on English/Kiswahili, mathematics, and the other top five topics).

The panel recommended that the changes be made in a year. Thus, if the new plan has an impact, the 2023 candidates will benefit first.

According to President William Ruto, out of the 11,000 secondary schools in the country, more than 5,000, many of them in rural areas, do not send even one student to college.

“As a result, we think about ourselves. Numerous graduates from our colleges come from affluent households and are able to finance a certain degree of education. Kenya cannot carry on in this way; we need to think again, he remarked.

President Ruto delivered a speech at the Open University of Kenya’s debut in Konza Technopolis City.

KNEC CEO David Njengere, who remarked that the current assessment system had destroyed the dreams of several graduates, backed the ideas.

Dr. Njengere claimed that the changes will prevent students in the final five classes of the eight-four-four scheme from saving their goals.

Five classes around the country are currently using the 8-4-4 approach of instruction. The KCPE exam will be taken this year by the final cohort, which is expected to enter high school in 2024 and graduate in 2027.

Also read: KNEC introduces mandatory subjects to determine KCSE overall grade

Dr. Njengere claims that the recommendation made by the presidential task team reorganizes the grading system to take a student’s preferred career interests into consideration.

The problem with what we’ve done with 8-4-4 is that it has a very limited and rigid curriculum that, at the point of termination, requires every child, regardless of their intellectual prowess, to take the same tests in the same areas, which contribute toward their final grades. It’s a lot of effort and demands heavy lifting for any child, Njengere continued.

According to Njengere, understanding the KCSE’s design is essential to understanding the problem. He learned that the test was created to serve two purposes.

Dr. Njengere states that the initial stage is to evaluate secondary school students’ progress over a four-year period. He claims that its second purpose is to act as a transitory marker, indicating to the student where he or she is going next—either to college or to university.

The ranking system, according to Dr. Njengere, causes many Formula 4 graduates problems because it affects their overall performance.

He asserted that the ripple effect has stopped thousands of people from pursuing post-high school education.

Njengere asserted that due to the fierce rivalry in the final exam, the KCSE has been reduced to an assessment that determines where a student advances and ignores the purpose of evaluation.

Dr. Njengere said in a Wednesday interview with the Standard that “curriculum requirements should in no way prevent you from transitioning because you have to transition in life, whether it’s due to age or achievement.”

He gave the example of an applicant with a preference for social sciences who must think about passing two science courses because failing those two will lower their overall score and raise the risk that they won’t be admitted to their desired course.

No matter how well I perform in my languages and humanities, these three will always weigh me down because of system requirements, and I wind up with an average score that puts me together like a C or something. This isn’t because I’m stupid.

He said, “We are punishing the students.” For instance, we might insist that a child who succeeds in science also pass in subjects like English and the humanities. We are wasting resources since that pupil is incapable of doing so.

The same case scenario applies to students who tend to lean more toward the sciences and who must be graded in English and literature, Kiswahili, and Fashihi.

If you wish to pursue a particular job route that doesn’t necessarily require you to obtain fantastic marks in all of these subjects, the president’s task group is essentially asking if it is necessary for some topics to hold you back as soon as you graduate from high school.

Dr. Njengere contends that all subjects must be learned by students in order to acquire core skills like literacy and math, even if those talents aren’t always necessary in the profession.

The acquisition of this fundamental knowledge and the evaluation of the student during the KCSE tests, he emphasizes, must be clearly distinguished from one another.

You must possess some fundamental numeracy abilities, he said, as we will assess you according to how well you do. As it turns out, the current ranking mechanism has Kenya ranked lower than other countries.

For example, Kenya has the lowest percentage of distinctions, also known as A and A- (minus) grades in the final national examination, according to a review of information from the East African region.

Kenya’s outcomes, in contrast, only saw a 0.85% reduction. The number of applicants who were eligible to receive an A or an A- (minus) was 7,553, which is equivalent to honors in Tanzania and Uganda.

Dr. Njengere added, “At this point, you start to wonder if the problem isn’t the students, but rather the grading system we use for our kids. Maybe our method is too strict for them, and we don’t distinguish between placement and success.

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