The new KCSE grading structure will come into force this year.
Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has unveiled a new assessment structure that will be implemented in 2023 in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
In the new grading system, only two compulsory subjects, mathematics and one language (English, Kiswahili or Kenyan Sign Language) will be used to calculate the average grade.
“Previously there were five compulsory subjects in three groups of groups – Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, two sciences and one humanity,” Machogu said during a stakeholder meeting on the new assessment system at New Mtihani House on Monday.
In addition, the examiners will have to select the five best performing subjects from the candidate, doing away with the previous grading system.
“In addition to the two compulsory subjects – the Kenya National Examinations Council will assess five other top rated subjects. The new reform measure is expected to increase the number of students qualifying for universities, diplomas and TVET training at Certificate and Artisan level,” Education CS said.
The previous system was seen as disadvantaging some students whose best performing subject was not assessed unless within clusters, as had been the case since the inception of the 8-4-4 education system.
In addition, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) is implementing strict security measures for the 2023 national examinations to ensure the integrity of the examination process.
“Most cheating happens in exam centres. If the security officers at the test center are not enthusiastic, they may not notice them. It is therefore necessary to limit the number of people in the examination center during the examination,” said KNEC executive David Njengere.
The move aims to curb cheating, a lingering concern during previous exams.
Njengere further emphasized the deployment of officers with high integrity, vigilance and sobriety to master the national examinations and ensure professionalism and fairness.
With unpredictable weather patterns in mind, the council has made known plans to manage potential disruptions caused by weather conditions.
“Council is aware that there are indications that the country is likely to receive more than normal rainfall during the trial period with the forecast of possible El Nino rainfall. The council assures you all that we have put mechanisms and measures in place and partnered with the security agency to be able to deal with any situation as it arises,” Njengere added.
A total of three national examinations will be held this year, including the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) for Grade 6 pupils, Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
KCSE exams are scheduled to start on October 23 and end on November 24, with the rehearsal taking place on October 19.