Why the fate of KCPE now hangs on the balance

The fate of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education now hangs in the balance and it is now upon Education CS Prof George Magoha to make a decision on its future.

The revelation comes after a committee which steers the implementation of Competency-Based Curriculum decided that no national examination should be administered under the curriculum, at Grade Six. The committee finished their retreat in Naivasha on Tuesday where they made a raft of suggestions regarding the new curriculum.

But according to Standard, there will be a new national examination at Grade Nine—which will be equivalent to Form One under the current 8-4-4 system that is being phased out.

However, the legislators urge that the Ministry of Education and other stakeholders can administer examinations in Grade Nine and Grade 12. This suggestion is in tandem with a declaration that Prof Magoha made last year in a similar retreat as the government jump-started the roll-out of the new system.

“As a government, we have decided that there will be an examination after Year Nine and after Year 12. The discourse of Year Six will be for the task-force to advise us,” Prof Magoha said last year.

Contrary to the current system where most learners choose their career disciplines in Form Three, or earliest Form Two; under CBC, learners will be able to choose the career paths after sitting the Grade Nine examination before proceeding to the senior secondary grades ahead.

“Within the three pathways, there are various tracks. Schools can also decide to offer one or more tracks in the pathway, depending on the ability to acquire the infrastructure necessary for the acquisition of the identified competencies,” reads the KICD report. This means that while sitting the new examination at Grade Nine, students will have to make choices based on the three named pathways.

The new CBC system is structured into 2-6-3-3-3. Here, learners will take two years in the pre-primary school before proceeding to Grade One to Grade Six. Grades one to six encompasses three years of lower primary and additional three years of upper primary education. Then, they will proceed to Grade Seven to Grade Nine, which is the junior secondary school and lastly Grade 10 to Grade 12 which is upper secondary school. The last three years are reserved for college education.

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