KCPE News: Radical Changes Await Examinations as CS Magoha Fights to Retain KCPE National Tests to Standardize learners’ Scores; An extrapolation of the new competency-based curriculum
Last-minute but necessary interventions by the current Education Cabinet Secretary Professor George Magoha have finally shelved fears among key stakeholders within the education sector especially now that national KCPE examinations were retained, to fit in the broader plan of reforming assessments under the new competency-based Curriculum.
The latest plan is to have learners undergo various assessments, accumulate marks scored at the school level and sit external national standardized tests administered by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) for objectivity and certification purposes.
Many Kenyans had expressed their fear that doing away with KCPE and adopting pure school-based assessments may lead to unfair results given by some teachers.
Besides, it emerged that learners graduating from the new Kenyan education system are likely to face obstacles when pursuing further education in other countries if they did not sit a final standardized examination at the end of primary education.
Consequently, the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) task force report which was recently received by the President has recommended, under the 2-6-3-3-3-education system, a blend of both school-based assessments and national examinations.
Under the new plan, the teachers shall conduct classroom assessments for learners at Grades 1 to 3.
The learners will still sit a standardised school test once they are at Grade 3, which will be assessed and scored by teachers who will then give feedback to learners in their respective schools.
The CBC Annual weighted mark
Schools will then submit the results for each learner to the Kenya National Examinations Council, KNEC to facilitate analysis learning outcomes and achievement of competencies at the national level.
The Knec report which will be generated at this stage shall be sent to schools to serve as a guide to teachers receiving Grade 3 learners at Grade 4.
The report, that was received by President Uhuru yesterday, also proposes school-based assessments for Grade 4, 5 and 6 learners with an annual weighted mark of 20 per cent.
The annual marks recorded by teachers will be sent to Knec and will form part of final marks at the end of primary school.
National examinations, which will be administered by Knec at the end of Grade 6, will only constitute 40 per cent.
“There was fear that some schools may tamper with internal scores to project schools as high performers. But the external marks by Knec will standardise the scores and also bring in element of objectivity,” said a task force member. All learners, at the end of primary school will transit to Junior Secondary School.
The report says that at this level of education, learners will also be subjected to formative and summative tests at the end of the cycle.
“The Junior Secondary School assessment will facilitate placement in Senior Secondary School Pathways and Tracks, while the Senior Secondary School assessment will facilitate transition into Tertiary and University Education and Training,” reads the report.
CBC task force chairperson Fatuma Chege said the 10,359 secondary schools will host Junior Secondary Schools, most of which will be day schools. Senior Secondary School learners will have the opportunity to do dual certification by enrolling for TVET qualifications, depending on their abilities and career interests.
The president said the new pathways will exploit learners’ imagination, creativity, solve problems, use critical thinking and apply digital literacy.
“We do not want our children to be bound to systems of learning that have rigid histories and pre-determined ends,” Kenyatta said.
The Head of State has created a new State Department to oversee implementation of the reforms. “In this regard, to ensure effective implementation of these recommendations, and other curriculum reforms, I have on February 9 set my hand and presidential seal and established a new State Department for Implementation of Curriculum Reforms vested in the Ministry of Education,” said the President.
The report however hinted at transition challenges.
This is because learners who, in 2022, will be in Grade 6 under the 2-6-6-3 system and those in Standard 8 under the 8-4-4 education system will concurrently transition to Junior Secondary Grade 7 and Secondary Form 1, respectively.
“For effectiveness of transition from primary to secondary education of the CBC and 8-4-4 cohorts and domiciling of Junior Secondary School in the Basic Education structure, critical issues that will influence the double transitions need to be addressed,” reads report.
The president directed universities to be ready to receive the CBC learners by 2029.
Source: The Standard