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Private and Public Schools' heads condemn scraping of ranking system

By KEVINE OMOLLO AND RUSHDIE OUDIA | Dec 30th 2014 | 3 min read

Kenya: Parents and teachers in Kisumu have condemned the abolition of ranking system in the country's national examinations terming it a dark error in the county's education system.

They now want a review of the policy by the Ministry of Education so as to have a clear system which can bring competition and quality in the education system.

Director Hekima School Richard Guya said the ranking system was the best way to benchmark, promote competitiveness and add quality to the country's education system.

Education Cabinet Secretary Prof Jacob Kaimenyi on Monday reiterated that the Ministry had widely consulted and settled on abolishing the system which he said had been abused to create dishonesty in the examinations.

Kaimenyi said the system had also provided an unfair platform for learners and schools which compromised quality of education while focusing on attaining top positions.

"The ranking system has been used to portray learners and schools as dwarfs. No child is foolish and no child cannot prosper," said Kaimenyi.

The move now seems to have had immediate impact on education stakeholders with private schools' proprietors terming it ill informed.

"Competition is healthy. As investors in education sector we are not pleased at all and the decision needs to be reversed and restructured," he said.

Arina Primary School head teacher Mary Onyango who was held up for the better part of the day sending short messages so as to obtain the results also opposed the move.

Ms Onyango said the system brought anxiety to teachers, parents and candidates who would have wanted to celebrate the performances.

"In the past Kisumu District Mock examinations, the school emerged top and therefore we would have wished to know how we have faired against other schools," she said.

She also expressed concern over the delayed posting of the results on the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) website.

"We have not been given the option to download the results forcing us to choose top students' index numbers and send to 22252 to get results one by one. Parents have been calling us enquiring how we have performed but we have no answer to give since we are also in the dark," said Ms Onyango.

Golden Elite Academy Director Engineer Charles Ochome attributed the dull mood which marred the release of the results to the lack of ranking which he said has been motivating candidates as well as creating a celebratory mood during the release of the examinations.

Ochome said the government ought to give an alternative method to replace the ranking system instead of leaving stakeholders in the dark.

"Ranking is everywhere in life. Be it athletics, football or even the co-curriculum activities. It gives people the urge to evaluate themselves so as to forge a way of making their results better. I think the Ministry of Education need to give an alternative to replace the ranking so as to get education stakeholders out of the darkness," said Ochome.

He posed; "After scrapping off the ranking system what next?"

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