Placement Agency Lower University Cut-off Points for 2023 KCSE Candidates
With the release of the 2023 KCSE exam results, students hoping to join various universities are keeping their fingers crossed after Education CS Ezekiel Machogu ordered the review of entry cut-off points.
He said the review of the cut-off and cluster points was part of the wider examination administration reforms the government has put in place to ensure more students get learning and training opportunities in a flexible way.
It is also aimed at opening various courses and professions that had been limited for only students with specific subject combinations and certain score levels.
The change in the admission cut-off regime is informed by the reformed marking and grading system employed in the 2023 KCSE exam as and the reduction of the compulsory subjects examined.
The compulsory subjects were reduced from five to two-mathematics and any of the languages (English, Kiswahili or Kenya Sign language).
The two are graded alongside five other best performed subjects. This new arrangement was implemented in the ended exam cycle.
The five mandatory subjects in the previous regime spanned across three cluster groups – Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, two sciences and one humanity.
These changes are a result of implementation of the recommendations of the Presidential Working Party for Education Reform (PWPER).
The party, led by Prof Raphael Munavu, had recommended that KCSE grading regime change to just two mandatory subjects to determine learners final scores. This, they said, would ensure more students attain the pass mark and qualify for different courses at tertiary level.
The team also recommended a review of the cluster points and university funding model.
On Monday during the release of the KCSE exam results, Machogu directed the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service, to reorganise the course qualification criteria to reflect the new grading policy.
“Arising from the change in the new grading system, therefore, I am directing the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service and universities to align their 15 cluster points and entry requirements with the new reforms to avoid disadvantaging the candidates,” the CS said.
“It is clear from the new grading system that the ministry is now focusing on ensuring that our candidates have mandatory literacy (English or Kiswahili) and numeracy skills (mathematics) to enable them pursue their careers in TVET institutions, universities and colleges.”
The current university cut-off grade is C (plus) and above.
From the 2023 exam cycle, 201,133 students scored C (plus) and above in the exams, qualifying for university entry as per the 2022 regime.
CS Machogu also ordered KUCCPS to “mount a robust career awareness campaign among the 2023 KCSE candidates to ensure all students understand the new TVET and universities entry requirements under the Higher Education Funding Model that was launched last year.”
The placement agency has also been directed to roll out clear guidelines to enable the students joining TVETs to apply for courses ahead of the March 2024 admissions.
Sources at the placement agency, who are not authorised to speak to the press, told the Star that a review of the grades was inevitable. They said the review will see change of admission requirements for various courses as exam candidates now have a wider array of subject choices.
Machogu said the new reform measure will allow a larger number of students to pursue courses of their choice in universities and colleges than when the grading was more restrictive.
The released results show that 1,216 candidates-825 boys and 391 girls, scored straight As, 7.254 candidates-4,472 boys and 2,872 girls scored A (minus) grades.
Some 18,078 candidates scored B (plus)-10,370 boys and 7,708 girls. 36,728 candidates scored B (plain)-19,960 boys and 16,906 girls.
Some 59,514 candidates scored B (minus)-30,521 boys and 28,993 girls. A total of 78,343 candidates scored C (plus)-38,888 boys and 39,455 girls.
Those who scored C (plain) were 92,61, C(minus) 107,471, D (plus) 125,006 D (plain) 155,276 and D (minus) 165,861. Some 48,174 students, including 28,214 boys and 19,960 girls scored grade E.
A total of 899,453 candidates sat for the test, 450,554 being boys and 48,899 girls, representing a 50.09 per cent and 49.91 per cent respectively.
In terms of preparation for the new term, Machogu announced that Sh4.74 billion for free primary education have been released as well as Sh7 billion capitation for junior secondary schools.
The state has also released Sh16.2 billion for free day secondary schools.
Further, the government has released Sh12.8 billion for construction of junior school classrooms and in partnership with the CDF, it expects to put up 15,015 classrooms for Grade 9. The first Grade 9 will be in 2025.
Machogu said that in line with the Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms report, the Ministry of Education has rationalised the number of learning areas and curriculum designs in terms of scope and integration of subjects.
This is in a bid to deal with content overload and overlaps in the basic education.
He said the ministry has issued instructions to 11 schools to ensure the implementation of the changes starts on the first day of the first term in all schools hosting CBC learners.
“I wish to assure the country that the ministry working with the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Reforms have started a process of reviewing textbooks aligned to the rationalised designs,” he said.
In the meantime, Machogu said teachers should continue using the existing approved textbooks since they have relevant content, tasks and assessments for learners as guided by the curriculum designs.
“I have directed the KICD to ensure the 12 curriculum designs are uploaded on the KICD website by end of the week,” he said.