No more KCPE, learners to proceed to secondary without exams

Learners will no longer need KCPE exams to proceed to secondary schools in the next five year if a proposal before the Education ministry is adopted.

However, the proposal maintains a two-tier national examination but at advanced stages of grade 9 an equivalent of Form one and grade 12 an equivalent of Form Four in the current setting.

The government agency tasked with curriculum development, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development has made a bold proposal seeking to have KCPE eliminated under the new curriculum.

KICD director Julius Jwan was not reachable for comment. Calls to his phone were unanswered.

The proposal has already been sent to to the Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha.

The new curriculum 2-6-6-3 will gradually phase out the old system 8-4-4 that lays more emphasis on examinations, ushering in a new dawn on teaching and learning.

It is currently under implementation in pre-primary and lower primary classes one two and three. If the proposal is approved, it means the current class four students will be the last cohort to undertake KCPE.

The proposal will see primary schools only depend on Continuous Assessment Tests in testing learners understanding at the school level rather than a hurdle to enable them to move to the next level.

The new arrangement is expected to conform to the government agenda of 100 per cent transition by ensuring all learners in primary school will automatically get to secondary school.

Further, the proposal wants, the three classes in junior secondary school are accommodated in primary schools.

This means a learner transiting to secondary school proceed to the same primary school they were in but with a different twist that will entail a different uniform colour and trousers instead of shorts.

This is similar to the previous arrangement where O levels and A levels were accommodated in the same institutions.

If adopted, the proposal will be in support of a previous proposal by former education Cabinet Secretary late Mutula Kilonzo in 2013 that called for the abolition of KCPE exams.

Mutula said he supported suggestions that pupils be allowed to transit to Form Four without being eliminated through KCPE at a tender age.

“The pupils cannot use the KCPE certificates for anything because they are still too young. I support those calling for the abolition of KCPE,” Kilonzo said.

During the 2017 campaigns, the National Super Alliance led by former Prime Minister Raila Odinga promised to abolish KCPE exams to allow all learners transit to secondary school.

Meanwhile, some 91,320 teachers will today begin training for the new curriculum. A document seen by the Star yesterday showed the government has set aside Sh500 million for the exercise.

It will entail training of 68,490 teachers, 3 teachers per school -one in lower primary, two in grade four and 22,830 head teachers.

The training is set to run for a week and will focus on the assessment of learners and the use of ICT in teaching.

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