, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 17 – The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has rejected a proposal by Ndaragwa Member of Parliament Jeremiah Kioni for the abolition of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.
KNEC Chief Executive Officer Paul Wasanga said the move would amount to postponing the inevitable and would not provide an accurate measurement of a student’s abilities and capabilities.
He said the education system in the country lacks the capacity to issue continuous assessment tests to each student in various schools.
“As we talk, there are many KCSE candidates who have no place to go. We do not have enough in the market so that they are able to even self employ themselves,” Mr Wasanga stated.
“The intention of 8-4-4 was that by the time you leave primary school, you should have some basic knowledge with which you can depend on yourself. I think that has been essentially achieved it is only that people who leave primary school may not appreciate what they have learnt,” he said.
The KNEC CEO said it would be wrong to remove the KCPE system from primary schools.
“It would be a mistake to do that because it means that people will move without being accessed for 12 years of schooling. How do you know they are progressing?” he posed.
He instead pointed out that focus should be placed in improving the education standards through the employment of more teachers.
“Research has shown very clearly that if you want the quality of education to improve, you have to continue looking for that quality improvement. We are done with quality where we have APE which has put many children in school,” he said.
“What we need to be looking at and what the MP should raise is ‘What are the issues in quality education,” he outlined.
He explained that the teachers to be employed should be competent as well as qualified people.
“Forget about infrastructure because you can have infrastructure but if you do not have the person to deliver the content and the person is not competent, then we have a challenge,” he said. “First, you have to look at the teacher shortage and how it can be addressed and the quality of the teacher.”
“Research has shown that if you have a good teacher then you have 60 percent of the quality.”
The motion to scrap the KCPE exams is set to be brought before the house by the Ndaragwa legislator.
The Motion recommends that the 25 year old national examinations should be removed to give way to Continuous Assessment Tests to be done over a period of time.
According to Mr Kioni, education is a fundamental human right to every child and has a ripple effect of opportunities that impact on generations to come.
He said that the abolition of KCPE examinations will allow for a smooth transition of pupils to secondary school.
Should the Motion be approved and passed, then the Education ministry must seek urgent measures to double the secondary school admissions to allow in about 741,000 more students.