The Kenyan system is based on the colonial British system and is characterized by a strict testing regime with no grading on a curve. Students take a test at the end of each trimester. The 8th-grade final term exam is called the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) which marks the end of primary schooling. A student’s score on the KCPE dictates the quality of secondary school (high school) they are allowed to enroll in.
The KCPE is a 500-point exam. Students scoring in the 200s to 400s are likely to be accepted to increasingly prestigious secondary schools as their scores rise. Students scoring below 200 marks are however still enrolled in secondary schools as the government of Kenya encourages 100% transition.
The CBC (Competency-Based Curriculum) is a new system of education designed by the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) team and launched by the Ministry of Education in 2017. Its implementation began at the primary school level and will progress to high school. The CBC is designed to emphasize the significance of developing skills and knowledge and also applying those competencies to real-life situations. It is geared toward nurturing every learner’s potential, putting in mind Science, Technology, Engineering And Maths (STEM), sports, and entrepreneurial skills.
Unlike the old curriculum, the CBC adopts a “summative” grading approach as follows:
- Exceeding Expectation (80 -100 %)
- Meeting Expectation (50 – 79 %)
- Approaching Expectation (30 – 49 %)
- Below Expectation (0 – 29 %)
Our case managers watch for trends in grades; if they see a student’s grades declining, they will intervene both at school and at home. They will work with the student’s teachers and parents to support their efforts to improve their grades.
If you notice your student’s grades are falling, please feel free to write an encouraging letter or email to the student. Your reinforcement of your student’s capability and your support is helpful to the student.
Secondary (high school) lasts four years and is very competitive. Only 47% of Kenyans graduate from secondary school. At the end of a student’s secondary school career, all graduating students take the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) Exam. The average grade on the KCSE determines which post-secondary educational opportunities are open to the student.
The KCSE grades do not experience grade inflation, and “C” is the average for those who took the exam. As in the U.S., there are “A”, “B”, “C”, “D”, and “F” students. In Kenya, there are students receiving “E” as well. We’ve seen students on the entire spectrum of grades successfully complete their education and become gainfully employed. We hope this is the case for your student and will do everything we can to support him or her while in the program.
We have found that a high school graduate’s probability of securing a job is much higher if he or she goes on to post-secondary schooling of some sort. We accept applications for post-secondary scholarships as follows:
- C+ and above: 4-year university
In Kenya, the university is reserved for a few, very specialized, professions, fewer than in the U.S. Our students are taking classes in business studies, veterinary science, Information technology, mass communication, and community health/work studies.
- C- & C : 3 year job-specific course
The minimum admission requirement to apply for a diploma is a C-. Diploma courses take between two to three years to complete and the students must be admitted with a grade of C or C- in their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results.
- D+ to D- : 1/2 year job-specific course
Students take an 18-36 month program, or a series of shorter courses that allow students to accumulate certifications. We have students studying community service, front-office management, travel, graphic arts, marketing/sales, and bookkeeping, among many others. It can also lead to further education certifications and diplomas. This level of education is a “sweet” spot for employment opportunities following graduation.
- E and F: Trade school training (1 or 2 years)
The technical skills students receive through a trade school program are highly sought after in Kenya. Students have received training in auto mechanics, hairdressing, and catering.
If you have further questions, please contact us at email@example.com