KCPE and KPSEA Exams Begin, Marking End of 8-4-4 System in Primary Schools

October 30, 2023

Candidates in class eight and those in grade six began their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) examinations on Monday, October 30, 2023. The KCPE examinations will mark the end of the 8-4-4 education system in primary schools.

A total of 1,282,574 candidates are registered to sit for the KPSEA assessments, while 1,415,315 will be sitting for their KCPE exams. The exams will be administered in over 28,000 examination centers across the country.

The KCPE exam is a standardized test that assesses students’ knowledge and skills in English, Kiswahili, mathematics, science, and social studies. The KPSEA is a summative assessment that assesses students’ learning progress under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

The KCPE exam results are used to place students in secondary schools, while the KPSEA results will be used to inform students’ learning and development in junior secondary school.

The Ministry of Education has urged all candidates to remain calm and focused as they prepare for their exams. The ministry has also assured candidates that all necessary measures have been put in place to ensure a smooth and credible examination process.

End of an Era for 8-4-4 System

The KCPE examinations this year mark the end of the 8-4-4 education system in primary schools. The 8-4-4 system was introduced in 1985 and has been the foundation of Kenya’s primary education system for over three decades.

The 8-4-4 system has been credited with expanding access to education and improving literacy and numeracy rates among Kenyan children. However, the system has also been criticized for being too exam-oriented and for failing to adequately prepare students for the demands of the 21st century workplace.

The new CBC system was introduced in 2017 and is designed to be more learner-centered and competency-based. The CBC system focuses on developing students’ critical thinking, creativity, and problem-solving skills.

The first cohort of students under the CBC system will transition to secondary school in 2023. The KCPE results for this year’s candidates will be the last to be used to place students in secondary schools.

What to Expect in the Coming Years

It remains to be seen how the CBC system will perform in the coming years. However, there is a growing consensus that the system is a step in the right direction for Kenyan education.

The CBC system is designed to produce graduates who are able to think critically and solve problems effectively. These are the skills that will be needed to succeed in the 21st century workplace.

The Ministry of Education is committed to supporting the successful implementation of the CBC system. The ministry has already developed new curriculum materials and trained teachers on how to deliver the new curriculum.

The ministry is also working with stakeholders to ensure that there are adequate resources in place to support the implementation of the new system.

The success of the CBC system will depend on the collective efforts of the government, teachers, parents, and students. If all stakeholders work together, the CBC system has the potential to transform Kenyan education for the better.


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