, NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 11 – Members of the National Assembly want a return of school ranking in national exams.
This emerged during debate on a motion by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa and Magarini MP Harrison Kombe which sought the resolution of the House to compel the Ministry of Education to immediately revert to the ranking system for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education.
Kombe argued that ranking promotes hard work from teachers and institutions.
“If we don’t revert to the ranking system; we might as well start giving out completion certificates for primary education and secondary education. In my opinion as a professional teacher I don’t think that is the right direction,” Kombe stated.
Wamalwa said he will involve Parliament’s Education Committee to look into ways of reverting to the system.
“Ranking of schools has traditionally been used both locally and internationally and has been a source of positive competition, motivation, reward and acts as an important tool for resource allocation,” Wamalwa said.
Education CS Jacob Kaimenyi has three month to comply or communicate to the House Committee on Implementation explaining the reasons why operationalisation has not taken place within the minimum time necessary.
The Ministry of Education issued a circular abolishing ranking in schools saying the method has been a leading cause of unethical routines by some schools where bright candidates are registered in different streams from the rest to maintain top slots in the national list.
Kaimenyi recently stated that that there will be no return to the ranking system claiming it led to cheating and unnecessary competition.
The committee which is charged with the responsibility of scrutinizing the resolutions of the House, petitions and the undertakings given by the National Executive may propose to the House sanctions against any Cabinet Secretary who fails to report to the relevant select committee on implementation status without justifiable reasons.
Deputy Minority Leader Jakoyo Midiwo, MPs Bowen Kangongo (Marakwet East MP) and David Ochieng (Ugenya MP) opposed the motion stating that ranking led to commercialisation of education, which resulted in exam cheating.
Midiwo said the Parliament has no power to influence a policy of the Executive.
“This is a policy of the government… it is not an arbitrary decision. Today is Jubilee Coalition government and tomorrow is going to be Jakoyo government. When I am in government and I propose a statement, I want that policy to be tried and tested,” Midiwo asserted.
“We are doing something that is going to take our education to the drain. We should not politicise education, that even MPs want to run schools in their constituencies that they became number one,” Ochieng added.
Seme MP James Nyikal had earlier unsuccessfully tried to amend the motion to have the school ranking system restored but under established criteria and not just performance.
“All you have currently is a system that gives you a summation assessment of the student and has nothing to do with the process through which the student has gone. It really does not tell you how much is in the character of the person, the ability of the person to adapt to the challenges of the world,” Nyikal said while contributing to the motion.