KCPE and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations have always sparked competitions among Kenyan students, and schools. Schools with either massive failures or success are usually accorded with disregard or respect respectively; solely on how they perform every year. We see students study harder when the time for the examinations creeps in. But we might be seeing a whole new approach soon, as students in both primary and secondary schools will no longer need to sit for national examinations unless suggestions by technocrats undertaking a curriculum review are not passed. The reforms would formally put an end to Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations, which has been causing deep competition among schools and learners.
A competency-based assessment provided in the policy could stand in place of the exams. The two examinations are as of yet the main thing to good secondary and university education in the country. The radical proposal’s focus is to ensure that learners’ concentrate more on application of skills and knowledge in real life instead of just knowing answers theoretically. According to the a brief by the Kenyan Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD), the current primary school curriculum is overloaded with too many subjects, leading to ‘non-mastery of foundational skills of literacy, numeracy and life skills’.
Depite the fact that Mps has sent several proposals in the last and present Parliament to make alterations in the law to terminate the one-off examination at the end of primary and secondary levels, which many believe non-objectively determine the fate of candidates, the curriculum reform by technocrats shows the issue is still being given thought at policy level by the Government
According to the brief seen by The Standard:
The reforms aim at de-congesting the primary level curriculum to create more time for more holistic development of the learners. The upper primary school level shall be designed to provide opportunity for self-exploration to start identifying potential,”
The document called ‘The Curriculum Review Framework: Transforming Society Through Curriculum Reforms’ says competency-based assessment shall be introduced, where learners focus will be on application of skills and knowledge in real life.
KICD is conceptualizing the reforms to clearly spell out the competencies that learners are expected to achieve. Assessment shall be tailored to find out whether learners have achieved the prescribed competencies but not necessarily to compare them with their colleagues.
If it is eventually passed, only age-appropriate content shall be taught in primary schools and career pathways will be introduced at secondary level in a radical review that will remove the emphasis on national examinations. This only says that too much reading and wallowing about with over-weight books to school and the numerous subjects taught in secondary schools would be cut down, since the new curriculum is hugely working towards fitting the needs of learners.
Based on KICD Director Julius Jwan’s comment yesterday, the curriculum review is behind schedule and noted that the ministry has already allocated over Sh200 million tailoring to the exercise.
Dr Jwan nonetheless laid bare that determination of the correct system of education will be a verdict by players in the industry. In his words:
“Ours is strictly curriculum review. Matters of the education system are left to stakeholders’ discussions and policy makers,”
We only hope the new policy will make education system better and create the competition the existing ones have not done throughout the time.