KCSE Students Affected by Uhuru's School Reopening Plan

  • File image of KCSE students preparing for an exam
    File image of KCSE students preparing for an exam
  • President Uhuru Kenyatta's directive to fully reopen schools in January 2021 has forced education stakeholders to go back to the drawing in an attempt to solve the curriculum crises. 

    2020 national candidates and Grade 4 students were directed to stay in school with exams still slated for March 2021. Other students will join them in 2021 after the Ministry of Education settles on reopening dates. 

    Stakeholders, however, stated that the 2021 reopening plan will have an effect on various students, especially the 2020 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates and nursery school pupils. 

    The current Form Four class will likely stay out of school longer after KCSE exams unless universities and colleges undertake double intake programs. The tertiary institutions are already affected as some have two lots of first-year students. Other lots have also stayed at home for over a year due to congestion. 

    President Uhuru Kenyatta (centre) addresses the nation at State House, Nairobi, on Wednesday, November 4, 2020

    Those pupils who were to be enrolled in nursery students may also be forced to sit at home longer than expected as those classes will be fully occupied. 

    Stakeholders also argued that current pupils may have to retake classes as sitting at home for over a years has hampered their growth and development. 

    Magoha's ministry also faces a crisis in terms of class transitions. Grade 4 students under the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) will proceed to Grade 5 in 2021 but the ministry will still be facing a challenge of shifting current Class 5 students who will be out of school for 10 months before they resume in January 2021. 

    High Schools will also witness two Form One intakes which will pile pressure on teachers to adopt a crash program. 

    "We will be advised on how to proceed, or also share our ideas on how to handle the mater," Kenya Primary School Heads Association Chairman Nicholas Gathemia told a local daily.

    Grade 4, Class 8 and Form Four candidates will be proceeding to the third term in January 2021 whereas other students will be proceeding to their second term. The ministry will have to reorganise the syllabus to have the rest catch up through a fast-tracked program to avoid confusion in the next academic year. 

    Private schools will also be affected, especially those who were learning and completing the syllabus virtually. They may have to retake classes or wait for public schools to catch up so as to be on the same page. 

    Education CS George Magoha addresses the media in Nairobi on Monday, September 21, 2020

    This mostly affects Class 7 students who will not be registered for KCPE until public school academic calendar is reorganised. 

    Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Chief Executive Charles Ong'ondo, however, ruled out a reorganisation of the syllabus and rejected a proposal presented by secondary school heads. 

    The President's new directive further heaps pressure on parents to protect children from drug abuse, sexual exploitation and child labour while at home. The United Nations and World Health Organisation have constantly voiced concerns over children suffering and being affected by school closure.

    The global bodies had heaped pressure on Kenya to fully reopen schools amid the Covid-19 pandemic.