The fact that 46,000 KCSE candidates got an average grade of E and another 93,000 got D- raises troubling questions about how students are taught and graded.
This is because it is difficult to understand how so many failed all the subjects on which they were tested.
It is not enough to say that these students failed after spending four years in high school and pass after declaring the results.
The Ministry of Education should examine the root cause of poor performance and find ways to remedy the situation.
It is not possible for one in eight students to fail in almost all subjects. Something is seriously wrong with the teaching methodology or the way learners were graded.
Ideally, education should unlock every child’s potential to be a productive citizen. So, while so many of them are classified as having failed, education actors should take a step back and look for answers that can help reverse these worrying trends.
Likewise, there is a need to design a system that will absorb these learners so that they do not wither away since each individual has a unique strength that they can harness to become useful and productive citizens even if they do not pursue life. formal education.
While Kenyans expect the competency-based curriculum to address some of the challenges inherent in the 8-4-4 system, including grading, it is still important to audit the education system with a view to avoid repeating the same mistakes under the new curriculum.
In the same vein, the government should invest more in technical and vocational training, as well as in other areas such as sports and recreation, so that those who do poorly in school do not fall off the economic train. . This is a challenge that policy makers must address as a matter of priority to safeguard the future of all Kenyan children, regardless of their exam performance.