Differences over new KCSE grading system emerged

Differences over new KCSE grading system emerged

Differences over new KCSE grading system emerged

Stakeholders in education have become divided as a result of the choice to alter the grading scheme for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) under the 8-4-4 system. These modifications, which were announced by Ezekiel Machogu, the cabinet secretary for education, on Monday, will take effect this year.

The new system put forth by the Presidential Working Party for Education Reform will base KCSE grading on two mandatory subjects, Mathematics and one language (English, Kiswahili, or Kenyan Sign Language), along with any additional five best-performing subjects, to determine students’ final scores. The former system required five topics totaling three cluster groups, comprising two sciences, two humanities, English, Kiswahili, Mathematics, and two.

The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) has, however, voiced opposition to these revisions, calling them a hurried response that would end up confusing applicants more than helping them. According to Kuppet, the changes might influence students to choose less challenging coursework, potentially harming STEM-related careers and courses.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut), on the other hand, has backed the implementation of the new grading system. Knut supports the incorporation of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) into the 8-4-4 curriculum and makes the case that the previous rigor in grading and marking led to open spots in universities.Silas Obuhatsa, the leader of the National Parents Association, has argued that only three subjects should be graded instead of all five in the KCPE exams this year.

The Kenya Association of Private Universities’ chairman, Prof. Stephen Mbugua, believes that these changes will increase access to postsecondary education and increase enrollment in both private and public universities. He emphasizes that with the implementation of a new university funding model, enrollment at private universities has decreased.

Paul Wanjohi, a specialist in education, adds his voice to the discussion and states that this grading scheme should have been used sooner because it is in line with the objectives of the new curriculum, which is to maximize each student’s potential.

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