Plans are underway to reform the grading system of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations. The new grading system aims to better align with students’ strengths and interests.
Dr. Belio Kipsang, the Principal Secretary for Basic Education, announced this transformation and said that the upcoming grading system will place a greater emphasis on evaluating students’ literacy and numeracy abilities.
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Under the revised system, students will not be graded based on subject clusters, as has been the tradition since inception of the 8-4-4 system. Instead, the overall grading will take into account the performance in the best five subjects.
The announcement came during a briefing in Mombasa where Dr. Kipsang presented the status of the recommendations made by the presidential working party on education reforms (PWPER) to the Departmental Committee on Education of the National Assembly. He represented Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu during this session.
One of the key recommendations of the working party’s report was to review the KCSE grading system in line with international standards. Dr Kipsang clarified that the purpose of grading in a national education system is certification, not placement in higher education. He emphasized that the current grading structure, which integrated certification and placement, disadvantaged students with different abilities and interests.
The new system will factor in students’ literacy and numeracy abilities in their grades. However, students in the remaining cohort of the 8-4-4 system will continue to be graded based on their performance in five subjects, in addition to their grades in Mathematics and either English or Kiswahili.
This transformative shift in the KCSE grading system represents a significant step toward recognizing and nurturing the diverse talents and strengths of Kenyan students.