This is Why KUCCPS Will Not Conduct 2023 Placement Soon
University placement for candidates who sat the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations has been delayed because the team formed to review education is yet to submit its report.
The 173,345 students who qualified for university alongside others who expect to be sent to other tertiary institutions have been anxious since January when they received their results.
Traditionally, students join universities and colleges in September. There is fear that many will miss out on state sponsorship and that tuition fees will be increased. Students also need time to apply for funding by Higher Education Loans Board (Helb).
The learners affected are those to be placed by the Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (Kuccps). Those who opt for private institutions process their own admissions.
The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms (PWPER) is seeking extension of time to finalise its work.
Its six-month term expired in March before party could conduct national validation on its recommendations.
“We went round the country collecting views and now need to go back to the people who will confirm if what they said has been captured in our report,” a highly placed source said.
It’s part of public participation. Without it, someone can go to court and invalidate our work.”
According to the source, the team is seeking a one and a half month extension so that it can hand in the report before the end of the financial year in June.
The validation can be in the form of a national conference where delegates are taken through the recommendations and either pass or reject them.
“Much of the work for basic and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is done. The elephant in the room is university education,” the source said.
“Since the introduction of the 8-4-4 system, reforms have concentrated on basic education but universities have largely remained ignored.”
When Education CS Ezekiel Machogu released the KCSE test results in January, he directed Kuccps to quickly establish the number of places available in universities, colleges and TVET institutions to enable the commencement of learners placement.
PWPER hopes that when granted the extension, President William Ruto will give directions on some of its recommendations so that the placement can begin.
In December, the Prof Raphael Munavu-led PWPER presented Dr Ruto its first interim report, which mainly focused on basic education. It is from the recommendations that the President directed junior secondary to be domiciled in primary schools.
The second report, presented in February, was not made public.
It touched on university education and TVET but the President is said not to have been convinced by some recommendations.
One of the eagerly awaited recommendations is on sponsorship of students by the government. President Ruto has hinted at the government not funding all students who qualify for university education.
“There are children in academies (private schools) who pay Sh200,000 a term but when they go to university, we tell them we can pay for them. Why?” Dr Ruto told reporters at State House in January.
“If a parent is able to pay for a child in primary and secondary school, why don’t we allow them to pay for their child in university or college so that we support those who cannot afford it?”
According to the terms of reference, the PWPER is also expected to “review and recommend legislation to facilitate the amalgamation of Helb, TVET and university funding boards”.
This will have an effect on the number of students sponsored by the government as it will be based on the money available.
In the last four years, the number of students qualifying for university has more than doubled though funding has remained relatively the same.
The implication is that universities have been getting less funding from the government, leading many of them to accumulate debts running into billions of shillings.