Parents and Teachers Urge Rethink on KPSEA Grading

In the wake of the recently unveiled Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) results, a chorus of discontent has emerged from parents and teachers alike. The bone of contention lies in the 60-40 percentage split between school-based assessments and the national sit-in exam. This disparity, according to critics, places rural schools at a disadvantage and exerts an uneven impact on student progression.

The Call for Reassessment

Martin Waliaula, the Parents Association Trans Nzoia branch chair, expressed concerns over the confusion the results have caused among parents, pupils, and teachers due to the assessment formula. Waliaula proposes the introduction of end-year exams in every grade as a means to facilitate a smoother transition.

The dissatisfaction resonates with Philis Nelima, a mother from Namwichula, Trans Nzoia, who questioned the authenticity of the assessment. She lamented that her daughter’s low KPSEA score does not accurately reflect her true potential. Nelima queried, “Is this about assessing competency, or merely creating another hurdle for our children?”

A Plea for Fairness

Roy Sandui, a teacher in Trans Nzoia, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the need for a reevaluation of the assessment formula. Sandui urged the Ministry of Education to prioritize effective school-based support, particularly in underprivileged areas. The call for fairness in the grading system is not confined to Trans Nzoia; it reverberates in Meru County.

Mutuma Thuranira, a resident of Meru, voiced disappointment with the KPSEA grading system and advocated for its scrapping. Thuranira, a former deputy head teacher, labeled the exam as a source of confusion lacking proper educational structures.

Lack of Clarity and Preparation

Bakari Mugambi, a health worker in Meru, raised concerns about the opacity surrounding the grading process. He emphasized that parents are unaware of what to expect after junior secondary, adding that the government lacks the necessary materials, books, and funding for a successful implementation of KPSEA.

In Nyeri County, Temple Road Primary School head teacher Joseph Kilafi applauded the KPSEA results but noted a technical glitch in result retrieval since its release. Kilafi highlighted the descriptors for performance levels, including Exceeding Expectations, Meeting Expectation, Approaching Expectation, and Below Expectation.

Discontent in Murang’a County

In Murang’a County, Isaac Njoroge criticized the government for failing to rank the candidates despite extensive preparation and funding. Njoroge questioned the decision to turn the exercise into an assessment rather than a ranking by the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec).

A Wider Perspective: CBC and KPSEA

The dissatisfaction with KPSEA extends beyond individual experiences and finds resonance in the broader context of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). Tom Ingolo, Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary in Kakamega Central branch, argued that the lack of consensus before implementing CBC has resulted in an education system exposed to ridicule.

Kakamega Primary School head teacher Dickson Anyangu, however, lauded the test, emphasizing its role in helping teachers gauge learners’ performance and preparing young candidates for the pressure of national exams.

A Growing Dissent

Kisumu County mirrors the discontent found in other regions. Mercy Ochieng voiced concerns about the inadequately thought-out CBC curriculum and its potential impact on student performance. Kuppet officials in Kisumu raised alarms about loopholes in the assessment affecting the quality of education and the achievement of educational goals.

Zablon Awange, the union’s Executive Secretary General, warned that the attempt to eliminate ranking might have far-reaching consequences, breeding a generation that may not take any exam seriously, to the detriment of their careers. Awange argued that the assessment is a misuse of public funds, encompassing examiner hiring, printing, invigilation, and marking.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here