The Star (Nairobi)

23 January 2013

Kenya: Balala Calls for Scrapping of 8-4-4 Education System

Mombasa senator hopeful Najib Balala has dismissed the 8-4-4 education system and called for its scrapping. He said most students only focus on what they want to do in life at secondary school level and denying them chance to get secondary school education through exams is wrong.

"This is the start of life. If you play with life at this secondary level, you are finished," he said. Education minister Mutula Kilonzo and the Kenya National Parents Association chairman Musau Ndunda have called for the scrapping of Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam, saying it is irrelevant to children because the paper does not try learners' skills and competencies.

"I don't believe in 8-4-4. I believe a kid from nursery should continue until Form Four. I believe in a continuous system," he said. The outgoing Mvita MP was speaking on Monday evening at Mvita Boys High School where he presented a Sh6 million cheque for the construction of extra classrooms.

He said students should only be examined at Form Four level to determine whether they are ready to proceed for higher education. He said KCPE only scares pupils who are still not mature enough and are not think independently.

"If you make a class eight pupil drop out of school, where will that pupil go to?" he posed. He said the transition rate from primary to secondary school is alarming, saying life demands high grades even for the least valued jobs such as sweeping. "All white cards have been taken. There are no more jobs left," he said.

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