4 January 2013

Kenya: Late Results Will Disrupt School


The move by the Kenya National Examinations Council to release this year's KCPE and KCSE examinations results later than expected will greatly incovenience candidates and schools as well.

The reasons for moving back by a month the results of the two exams may be understandable but this will affect the candidates and school calendar for the whole year.

The strike last term by teachers affected the term three school calendar, forcing the Ministry of Education to move back the commencement date for the two exams.

As a result, the exams were done a month later than is the norm. This was going to affect marking and compiling of results. Consequently, results for KCPE which are normally released soon after Boxing Day will now be released on January 31.

What are the implications of releasing KCPE results in late January? Firstly, by this date schools will have opened and began their year's calendar.

The syllabus for the new classes will also have been started save for form ones who will be reporting in February. Teachers who would have taught the form ones will earn salaries for not teaching a whole month.

They will also be rendered idle or underemployed. Then when form ones report in February, the teachers will be forced to rush through the syllabus so as to complete it on time.

This does not make economic sense for a government that took a month to increase teachers' salaries. Considering that form ones will report late, they will have stayed at home longer than usual and wasted a lot of valuable time in the month of January while their colleagues were learning in schools.

Unfortunately, they will be expected to complete their syllabus with the rest in term three yet they will have missed learning for almost two months.

Secondly, form one is a delicate class since it is a transitional class. It is not just about covering the syllabus but helping these teenagers move from primary to secondary level of education.

With the late reporting, I can see a situation where schools will hurry to teach as they ignore orientation. This, in the long run, may disadvantage this year's KCPE candidates as they may be thrust into secondary education without smooth transition as is normally the case when reporting is done in good time.

They also need time to settle down in form one. Reporting late means that luxury is not there. Teachers may be forced to start teaching these guys even before their minds are set for learning.

On their part, schools will be forced to come up with crash programmes for form ones. Repeaters may also not find enough time to weigh available options since by that time the on-line registration will be on course.

This will force candidates to make hasty decisions that may not be right. Even if they are successful at their bids to repeat, their colleagues will have covered the syllabus for almost two months thus affecting them as more.

Form four candidates will even miss the January intake for tertiary institutions and be forced to waste a semester at home. This will increase the number of idlers in our villages and estates.

I therefore make an appeal to Knec to address this situation so that next year's candidates are saved the inconveniences.

Ashford Kimani, teaches at a private school in Nairobi County.

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