April 30th 2017

Society / Education

Matiangi results should cause worry, not celebration

Based on that background, and comparatively with other countries like Ghana where more than 60 percent of candidates pass exams with at least C-, the National examination system has failed our children and our nation.

By Cyprian NyamwamuFriday, 30 Dec 2016 12:08 EAT

Maranda High School students celebrating 2015 KCSE results.

Kenyans are all praise for the KCSE results released yesterday, but what are we celebrating really? That the As are few or that results have been released early? An exam that sees nearly three quarters of the candidates failing. How many Ds, Es were those? I earn from policy and governance consulting and research which simply requires that I identify the policy failures and problems and propose solutions within limited resources and time constraints with the original policy goals as the reference point. Based on that background, and comparatively with other countries like Ghana where more than 60 percent of candidates pass exams with at least C-, the National examination system has failed our children and our nation.

I am not going to join this celebration. It's the national exam system that fuels cheating and corruption. The cabinet secretart Dr Fred Matiangi has dealt a blow to the cheating and for this I thank him and Prof. George Magoha. But these results have revealed to us that our education system is broken and needs a very good look and overhaul. The discussion must go beyond years 8-4-4, 6-3-3-3..etc. it must be radical and all rounded. Education researchers, counseling psychologists, planners, economists, child development experts etc all must come to the table, afresh and urgently.

I demand for an examination system where the final exams accounts for only 40 percent and Form 3 and 4 term 1 and 2 including other activities such as debating, sports, drama, etc account for 60 percent. At least 15 percent of the final grading should be about if one was honest, community oriented, was active in sports, had special abilities in something etc. That way you hardly will get someone with an E. No learner gets E after 4 years of attending class. That is a fraudulent system right there. In countries in Northern Europe that are learner centered, not exam centered, nearly 90 percent of learners pass exams because they have been understood for what they are best at and are helped to become something in that area.

I already made this submission to the honorable CS and the ministry but as you know our education system only prepares people to serve and work for those who already own and control the means of production and power. It's not for liberating a nation. My fellow Kenyans, you really should know that exams especially KCPE is the largest source of IDPs in our nation and this should no longer be acceptable.

The writer is a good governance campaigner and CEO, Future of Kenya Foundation





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