Scoring a Grade E in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination marks the end of the academic road for the students concerned, and also shuts the door to many other avenues of advancement.
However, this need not be the case, as academic excellence is not the only path to success. Many of the people who drop out of school at this level sometimes rediscover their real strengths and pursue other goals.
National examinations are the conventional way of judging the intelligence of candidates, but even the supposed failures have other talents that can be identified and honed. There are people, who, after flunking, choose to repeat and later turn in good results. Failing exams does not mean that the candidates are dimwits, who do not deserve anything in life. Everybody deserves a second chance.
There is now some real hope for the thousands of students who score the worst grade in the KCSE exam and risk lapsing back into illiteracy with the doors firmly shut in their faces. They can now apply for admission to pursue artisan courses.
They will be able to do so through the Kenya Colleges and Universities Placement Service (KUCCPS). This framework should enable them to, not only upgrade their skills, but also to study even up to the doctorate level, if they so wish, and work hard.
In the 2020 KCSE exam, 28,046 candidates scored grade E, including 141 from national schools. To be admitted to the national schools, the candidates had done well in their KCPE exam, before things went south for them. They now have another chance to achieve something and eventually turn around their lives.
The artisan courses start at the certificate level, with those who excel advancing to diploma, higher national diploma and on to a bachelor’s degree course. They will gain practical skills, making them more readily employable than their theoretical course counterparts. A lifeline has been thrown to the KCSE failures. They should seize it for their own benefit.