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Ministry must work harder for smooth transition under new education system

By The Standard | December 5th 2020 at 00:00:00 GMT +0300

The national examination system has for decades been used to transit learners from one level to the next in the Kenyan education system. For instance, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) has been the criteria for selecting learners into secondary schools. Using merit, choice and affirmative action, the national examination has been placing learners into national, provincial, district, sub-county and harambee secondary schools. The top performers were placed into the few national and well equipped national schools.

This system encouraged stiff competition for the few places in the good schools across the country. Learners were, therefore, highly motivated and would study hard to join secondary schools of their choice. Parents and teachers would equally urge their children to work hard to pass the national examinations. The competition was however, only healthy up to some point, with some learners resorting to cheating in examinations.

Now, with the newly introduced Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), there is no much emphasis on examinations. Indeed, the Government’s plan is to transition all learners into secondary schools. Grade Six pupils are supposed to join junior secondary automatically. Concerns have since emerged on what basis would the learners be placed into national, provincial, district and other secondary schools?

The current Grade Four pupils under CBC are projected to finish primary education in 2022 and join junior secondary in 2023. In the same year, the current Standard Six learners under the 8-4-4 system will sit the KCPE examination and join Form One. Stakeholders are, therefore, concerned on the criteria that will be used. Additionally, will there be enough secondary schools to accommodate all the learners?

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has formed a team to come up with ways of ensuring a smooth transition, taking into considerations all the concerns. We, therefore, urge the team to come up with solutions and assure parents and learners of a fair system that will also step up quality of education at all levels.

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During transitions from one system to another, there are often unintended consequences disadvantaging some learners and parents. The Magoha team must therefore come up with viable means of transition. The Ministry should strive to carry all stakeholders on board this new dispensation.

New Curriculum Competency-Based Curriculum
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