The Sun Sets for an Era in Kenyan Education

October 30, 2023

The Kenyan education system is going through a significant change as the final group of students sits for the Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) exams. This marks the end of the 38-year-old 8-4-4 system. However, there’s a new era on the horizon, as the Ministry of Education introduces the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC), with a 2-6-6-3 structure, which will redefine education in Kenya.

Why is this change happening?

The 8-4-4 system, with its high-stakes exams, placed a lot of pressure on young students, pushing them to chase high grades. Unfortunately, this pressure resulted in an unintended consequence, which is the compromise of the authenticity of exams.

With the CBC, significant changes are on the horizon. While it’s not without challenges, the CBC promotes a more holistic approach to education. Students will engage with a broader curriculum that goes beyond traditional subjects. No longer limited to only Math, English, Kiswahili, Science, Social, and Religious studies, students will explore a wider range of subjects, including Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Integrated Science, and Creative And Social Sciences. These 12 subjects have been cleverly condensed into five areas, offering a more comprehensive learning experience.

But that’s not all! The CBC focuses on continuous assessment and reducing stress on students. The new national exam, Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KEPSEA), will only contribute 40% to a student’s overall grade. The remaining 60% will come from classroom-based continuous assessment tests conducted in Grades 4, 5, and 6.

So, what’s the takeaway?

As KCPE says goodbye, Grade 6 is now the destination for Kenya’s young scholars. KEPSEA isn’t about determining your future but rather about monitoring your progress. It’s all about giving students room to breathe, learn, and grow. The new system promises to help students discover their passions early on and navigate their unique educational journeys.

The future of Kenyan education is evolving, and it’s an exciting transformation that will prepare learners for the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

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