The 2011 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results will be released tomorrow. The exam is a make or break affair for most students since it is the key determinant of whether they will continue on to college or drop off the education ladder and join scores of unemployed youth with limited economic prospects.
These results will be the first since the 2008 introduction of subsidized high school programmes.
This year’s high school leavers will still have to wait for about two years before they can join university – an artifact of the Moi Administration going back to the early 1980s when universities were shut down for an extended period due to political unrest.
I do not have the exact numbers but know that the duration of time between leaving high school and joining university for the average Kenyan student (who does well enough in high school) is closer to 6+ years than 4 years. Both the Moi legacy and intermittent strikes by lecturers and students are to blame for this massive waste of young Kenyans’ time.
The Kenya National Examination Council, through the Ministry of Education, will release KCSE results on Monday. Key stats will include whether gender and regional gaps persist in performance.
The Kenyan education system is in need of urgent restructuring. The content of most of the curriculum is outdated, as the Minister of Education himself admitted. Nearly 60,000 students who qualify for university education never get admitted to the country’s public universities because of lack of space. Private universities are oftentimes too expensive and, in a growing number of places, of dubious quality.
Instead of promoting class mobility, the education system continues to perpetuate the existing class system by heavily subsidizing higher education at the expense of students from poor households who fail to qualify for admission because of the low quality of their primary and secondary education.