, NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18 – Kenyan schools undertaking the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE) education system are set to be affected by a shake-up of the system by the British government.
The exam undertaken by 16-year-old children in England is to be replaced by an English Baccalaureate Certificate (EBacc).
Education Secretary Michael Gove says the new qualification will scrap the retaking of modules, reduce reliance on coursework, and bring back tough end-of-year exams.
The education overhaul, the biggest in a generation, was announced by Gove in the House of Commons.
“We believe that it is time to raise aspiration and restore rigor to our examinations. Today marks the next stage in radical exam reform to equip children for the 21st Century and allow us to compete with the best performing education nations,” he said.
Children of all abilities will take the EBacc and there will be only one exam board for each subject, in order to prevent competition between boards to deliver tests which are easier to pass.
Teaching of the new English, Maths and Science certificates will begin in September 2015, with the first pupils receiving EBacc rather than GCSE qualifications in 2017.
Other subjects, including History, Geography and Languages will follow.
The changes follow controversy over the grading of this year’s GCSE English exams, after the threshold required to obtain a grade C was raised between January and June.
Responding to the announcement, pupils said ditching coursework was “totally out of date.”
“We’ve had a system we’ve been working with and developing for a number of years and it is now being replaced by a one shot wonder and to me that’s going backwards not forwards,” a British student said.
“Students are already under pressure as it is. The pressure that it’s just one chance and if you fail it, you fail it,” another explained.