KNEC, MOE on Fire After 200,000 Unregistered Candidates Sat For KCPE
Members of the National Assembly Education Committee on Monday poked holes into the high number of unregistered candidates who sat the 2023 KCPE exam.
This is after Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang revealed to the committee that more than 200,000 unregistered learners sat the 2023 KCPE exam.
The Parliamentary Committee led by Tinderet MP Julius Melly asked Kipsang, Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and Kenya National Examination Council CEO David Njeng’ere to explain why 200,000 learners turned up the last minute to sit the last KCPE exam.
“The ministry says they are surprised that 200,000 students showed up. Are you saying there are children who intentionally skipped Grade 7, and their parents got a way to register them to do KCPE exam?” MPs posed.
Kipsang explained that the number was due to a call by the ministry to allow unregistered learners sit the last KCPE as 8-4-4 is phased out.
“As it was known this was the last examination. Anybody who would have been out there and would have wanted to sit for this examination, knowing that there would be no repetition, took the opportunity to sit for this examination,” the PS said.
Kipsang said the ministry has ran an analysis and there was no such surge for Grade 6 learners as they did their KPSEA exams.
Thus, they concluded that those who had not sat the previous years took the last opportunity after the ministry announced that unregistered learners could also sit the last KCPE exam.
“It is the last examination in primary schools. All the others will be assessments moving forward,” Kipsang said.
The MPs noted that for the last several years there have been attempts of attaining 100 pet cent transition to secondary schools after learners sit their KCPE exam.
“Did these children drop out somewhere in bulk. Did they do KCPE exam and were not part of the 100 per cent transition now they are back ? 200,000 is a huge number to just say they ‘showed up’ to sit the last exam,” MPs told the ministry.
Njeng’ere told the committee that the number increased because even those that had not been in school wanted to sit the exam.
“Even persons who wanted to sit for exams without reading and not minding whether they perform well sat. That accounts for the over 200,000 spike we have seen this year,” Njeng’ere said.
Candidates who were registered to sit the 2023 KCPE exams were 1,415,315.
The learners sat the exam last week from October 30 to November 1.
The candidature for KCPE exam recorded a significant increase of 13.74 per cent (170,982 candidates) in 2023 compared to 2022.
This was attributed to the fact that the KCPE examination was being administered for the last time in 2023, hence an attempt by learners who may have dropped out to take advantage of the last chance.
The 2023 KCPE exams marked the end of the 8-4-4 curriculum in primary schools and the ministry aims again at ensuring 100 per cent transition into secondary schools.
This same cohort that sat the last KCPE exam will also sit the last KCSE in the next four years to come when 8-4-4 will be phased out in secondary schools.