Some people might be disappointed by the lack of pomp and color that have always accompanied past announcements, in the releasing of this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (K.C.P.E) RESULTS; but I see this as a welcome move, that has been long overdue for four reasons:
To begin with. The hype created by the media around this time glorified some pupils as heroes and heroines while inadvertently stigmatizing the rest who could easily be walking with an obvious label of FAILURE on their foreheads for the rest of their lives!
Secondly, It is a known fact that the playing ground in our schools, both primary and secondary, is not level at all. How do you rank schools that are totally deprived of all the essential learning tools, like those in Turkana where pupils write on sand, with others that are overly equipped? It could only be fair if all the schools were operating on even ground, which is unfortunately not the case.
Thirdly, the ranking was a powerful marketing tool, especially for private school proprietors, hence a fertile ground for corruption and exam irregularities. Some schools could stop at nothing, including fair and unfair means, till they were ranked at the top so as to attract more clients. This is one of the reasons why we have had several cases of exam leakages in the past.
Finally, I have written many times before that an education system where students are ranked using only one exam after studying for over 8 years is totally unfair. Anything can happen during this “do or die” exam and more often than not, several bright pupils have been closed out from joining good secondary schools, after scoring poorly in this all important exam, due to reasons beyond their control e.g sickness. This is usually in total disregard of their stellar performance in the past!
I hope the abolition of ranking applies even for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (K.C.S.E) exams. We definitely need to do more by re-structuring our education system in totality and doing a complete overhaul in our examination systems.