School heads firm on exam scrapping

November 19, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – The Kenya Primary School Head Teachers Association has backed a proposed Motion by Ndaragwa Member of Parliament Jeremiah Kioni seeking to scrap the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education(KCPE) examinations.

Chairman Joseph Karuga said on Friday that the examinations are normally done at a time in life when pupils are not prepared both emotionally and psychologically.

He described the current examinations as “obsolete” saying that they do not impart the needed skills suitable to earn a living.

“When you continue doing something because it had been succeeding, it becomes obsolete. There could have been a point in time in this country where summarised kind of examinations at primary level would have made sense because you want manpower development in a particular area,” he said.

“It must have a purpose and a rationale. Why do you have a learning curriculum?” he posed.

He called on stakeholders in the education sector to keep an open mind on the proposal by the Ndaragwa legislator.

“We feel that to give our children at the primary level a summarised exam and an evaluation is punitive. We should be able to give them a second chance whereby they are allowed to grow up to a time where their brains, physical growth and emotions are taken care of,” he stated. “The only place that they can get this is at the Ordinary Level”

The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) had earlier rejected the proposal.

KNEC Chief Executive Officer Paul Wasanga told Capital News this week that 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.


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