Teachers' unions oppose plans to scrap national examinations

Written By Jane Njeri Thuo

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) from Western and Nyanza have accused the Government of seeking to make education a preserve of the rich.

The officials from Kisumu, Kakamega, Vihiga and Homa Bay branches alleged the move is part of the Government's plan to run down the quality of education in the country and only allow those with money to educate their children.

The Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) says the current primary school curriculum is overloaded with too many subjects. It proposes the introduction of a competency-based assessment and doing away with the examinations.

The radical proposals mean learners will now focus on application of skills and knowledge in real life rather than knowing answers.

This would abolish the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations, which have been characterised by cut-throat competition among schools and learners.

Kisumu Kuppet Chairman Zablon Awange  termed the suggestion ill-timed. "What is needed is curriculum changes to include holistic changes of education including classwork and extra-curricular activities," Mr Awange said.

He also noted that even the British system favoured by the middle and upper classes has not done away with examinations. "National examinations are not only for monitoring and evaluation, but also a yardstick for placement in the next-level institutions," he said.

Reference : www.standardmedia.co.ke