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Education ministry mulls changing KCSE grading structure

Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Dr Belio Kipsang

The Ministry of Education is set to change the grading structure of the KCSE to reflect the dominant aptitudes and interests of learners, the Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Dr Belio Kipsang has said.

Dr Kipsang said the grading will take into account the literacy and numeracy abilities of learners.

He, however, said it will allow the overall grading of the learners to include the best five subjects instead of grading them across subject clusters as has been the case since the inception of the 8.4.4 system of education.

The PS made the remarks during a briefing on the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the presidential working party on education reforms to the members of the Departmental Committee on Education of the National Assembly at a Mombasa Hotel.

Dr Kipsang represented the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mr. Ezekiel Machogu in apprising the Members which was led by the Deputy Chairperson of the Departmental Committee on Education, Hon. Malulu Injendi, the status, roadmap and legislative proposals that will give effect to the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER).

The report of PWPER made recommendations on assessment and included a review of the grading system of KCSE to accord with the international standards that inform the grading of students at KCSE.

Dr Kipsang said the grading in any national education system is for certification and not placement of students in higher education.

He said the integration of certification and placement in KCSE grading structure has disadvantaged many students with different orientations in abilities and interests.

He said literacy and numeracy abilities will be taken into account in grading.

The Principal Secretary, however, said students of the remaining cohort of the 8.4.4 will be graded according to their performance in five subjects in addition to their grades in Mathematics and either English or Kiswahili.

He said a student with 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.

Dr Kipsang also said the government wants to make the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) part of the County Education Board (CEB) system.

He said membership of County Commissioners in CEB will ensure that regulations and instructions are enforced and that harmony is established in an environment with different cultural and other diversities.

Dr Kipsang said the recommendations of the PWPER were about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of education services.

“The current policy thrust of education is not only keen on ensuring that all children attend school. It is also as much keen, if not keener, that all children get optimal learning experience, regardless of their social background, physical or mental condition.

The Deputy Chair of the Departmental Committee, Malulu Injendi said the Ministry should enable the Committee to understand all the dynamics of the reforms to enable it to support the policy and legislative proposals that the PWPER recommended.

Present during the occasion were, the Director General, Dr Elyas Abdi,  chief Executive officers of state corporations under the Ministry of Education and senior officials in the Ministry.

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