New KCSE grading structure to consider learners’ literacy and numeracy abilities, says PS Kipsang

The Ministry of Education is set to change the grading structure of the KCSE to mirror the prevailing abilities and interests of learners, the Principal Secretary for Basic Education, Dr Belio Kipsang has said.

According to Dr Kipsang, the grading will take into consideration the literacy and numeracy abilities of learners.

“The Ministry will however allow the overall grading of the learners to include the best five subjects instead of grading them across subject clusters as has been the case since the inception of the 8.4.4 system of education,” added the PS.

The PS was speaking during a briefing on the status of the implementation of the recommendations of the presidential working party on education reforms to the members of the Departmental Committee on Education of the National Assembly at a Mombasa Hotel in which he represented the Cabinet Secretary for Education, Mr. Ezekiel Machogu.

The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) made recommendations on assessment and included a review of the grading system of KCSE to align with the international standards that inform the grading of students at KCSE.

PS Kipsang said the grading in any national education system is for certification and not placement of students in higher education.

He further said the integration of certification and placement in KCSE grading structure has disadvantaged many students with different orientations in abilities and interests adding that literacy and numeracy abilities will be taken into account in grading.

The Principal Secretary, however, said students of the remaining cohort of the 8.4.4 will be graded according to their performance in five subjects in addition to their grades in Mathematics and either English or Kiswahili.

“A student with ability and interest in Medicine or engineering need not be prevented from qualifying for the courses just because a subject that was used to grade him pulled down his overall Mean Grade,” he added.

Dr Kipsang also said the government wants to make the National Government Administration Officers (NGAO) part of the County Education Board (CEB) system.

According to Kipsang, membership of County Commissioners in CEB will ensure that regulations and instructions are enforced and that harmony is established in an environment with different cultural and other diversities.

He said the recommendations of the PWPER were about improving the efficiency and effectiveness of the delivery of education services.

“The current policy thrust of education is not only keen on ensuring that all children attend school. It is also as much keen, if not keener, that all children get optimal learning experience, regardless of their social background, physical or mental condition,” added Kipsang.

The Deputy Chair of the Departmental Committee, Malulu Injendi said the Ministry should enable the Committee to understand all the dynamics of the reforms to enable it to support the policy and legislative proposals that the PWPER recommended.

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