A new grading scheme has been implemented by the Ministry of Education for the KCSE Exam in 2023. Ezekiel Machogu, the education secretary, declared that the only subjects required to determine the mean grade under the new grading system are mathematics and one language.
“In the new grading system that will be applied to the 2023 KCSE examination, the only two mandatory subjects will be Mathematics and one language (English, Kiswahili or Kenyan Sign Language),” Machogu said.
Alongside the two mandatory subjects, KNEC will factor in the performance of the candidate’s five best-performed subjects.
During the launch of the examination season at the KNEC headquarters on Monday, Machogu shared that this reform is anticipated to augment the number of students qualifying for universities, Diplomas, and TVET training at Certificate and Artisan levels.
In the previous system, mean grades for KCSE exams were calculated from five obligatory subjects spread across three clusters: Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, two sciences, and one humanity.
Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang clarified that the objective of this new grading system is to better cater to the interests and competencies of learners.
“A student with the ability and interest in medicine or engineering need not be prevented from qualifying for the courses just because a subject that was used to grade him pulled down his overall mean grade,” he noted.
Kipsang stressed that grading in the national education system should primarily be for certification and not solely for placing students in higher learning institutions.
He advocated for a grading approach that focuses on literacy and numeracy abilities.
The Presidential Working Party on Education Reforms pointed out that the previous 8-4-4 system leaned heavily towards academics and rote learning, limiting learners’ opportunities to develop critical skills and values necessary for character formation.
They emphasized that the old grading structure disadvantaged some learners whose best-performing subject wasn’t considered if it fell outside the specified cluster.