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BILL ON SCRAPPING KCPE EXAMS IN KENYA

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Denzel Musumba

Denzel Musumba

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Parliament is set to debate a motion that could lead to the abolition of national examinations for Standard Eight pupils. Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni has given notice of a motion that calls for the scrapping of the 25-year old Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations. All that remains is for the House Business Committee of Parliament, headed by Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka, to allocate the motion time for debate. That could happen as early as Wednesday or same day next week since private members’ motions are usually scheduled on that day whenever the House is in session. Both primary and secondary school head teachers’ associations welcomed the motion, terming it long overdue. His notice states: “This House resolves that the government abolishes the KCPE and provide for a continuous, uninterrupted education system from level one to Form Four in order to accord all Kenyan students universal basic education.” Mr Kioni argues that education was a fundamental human right, which each child was entitled to. If all children had access to quality education, he said, “we will create a ripple effect of opportunity that impacts (on) generations to come”. It will also be a contributor to the fight against poverty if graduates found jobs. “Quality basic education better equips girls and boys with the knowledge and skills necessary to adopt healthy lifestyles.” He said educated children were more likely to have fewer children and to adopt better practices in bringing up their children. If the proposal is approved and passed, then the Education ministry must seek urgent measures to double the secondary school admissions to allow in 741,000 more students. The candidates who completed their KCPE last week could be the last group to sit the exams, if the tests are abolished before the MPs proceed on recess.

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