REFORMS

End of KCPE exams in new curriculum implementation roadmap

Test has guided the progression of learners from primary to secondary school.

In Summary

• President Uhuru Kenyatta also announced that junior secondary will be hosted in secondary schools.

• Stakeholders had been divided on whether junior secondary should be domiciled in primary or secondary schools. 

President Uhuru Kenyatta
President Uhuru Kenyatta
Image: FILE

Learners will not sit nationals examinations to transition to secondary schools under the new curriculum, marking an end to Kenya Certificate of Primary Education test. 

Yesterday President Uhuru Kenyatta also announced that junior secondary will be hosted in secondary schools.

Stakeholders had been divided on whether junior secondary should be domiciled in primary or secondary schools. 

Uhuru made the declaration on Friday during the third National Conference on Curriculum Reforms at the KICC.

The decisions are part of the recommendations by a task force set up to iron out the issues surrounding the implementation of the new curriculum. 

The decisions mark the end of the 32-year-old exams with the current Standard 4 cohort set to take the last one in 2023.

Traditionally, KCPE has guided the progression of learners from primary to secondary school.

The announcement brings an end to the uncertainty surrounding the transition question but commences new puzzles on grey areas originating from yesterday's announcement.

Among the list of concerns is the criteria the government will adopt to place learners in the different categories of secondary schools.

Currently, education experts suggest continuous assessment tests that students will be doing each year over the six years in primary school be used to guide the transition.

KCPE examinations have been used to guide the placement to the various classes of secondary schools. 

 

President Kenyatta says the decision to eliminate examinations is to allow 100 per cent transition to secondary school.

This will also mean that in 2023 there will be a double intake into secondary school under two parallel cohorts.

One will be the 2023 cohort sitting their KCPE examination under 8-4-4 and the second will be the inaugural junior secondary class, currently in Grade 3.

Uhuru yesterday acknowledged a range of issues affecting the new curriculum including a lack of resources in many rural schools. 

However, the President said it is critical to ensure each child remains in school as the government works on improving standards.

The next three years will be critical as the government moves to improve the secondary school infrastructure.

It will ensure the institutions are expanded to accommodate six classes from the current four.

In the new arrangement, junior secondary that will run for three years is expected to teach similar content to what learners learn in the 8-4-4 curriculum.

The pioneer class will be admitted in 2023.

The senior secondary will be optional to students once they complete junior secondary and will involve specialisation.

This will need massive resources and the pioneer class is expected to sit in 2026.

(edited by O. Owino)