Demand for the 2017 KCSE marking and grading process to be made transparent to the public

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As a parent, Kenyan teacher and  education scholar, I wish to reinforce my earlier call ( see: article on Nov 10th in Kenya Business daily: http://www businessdailyafrica.com/ analysis/KCSE-grading-system- should-be-transparent/539548- 4181494-1562kqqz/index.html) for the need to make the process of setting, marking and setting of grade boundaries for our KCSE examinations transparent to the Kenyan public.

The current uproar, sense of uncertainty and levels of distress amongst parents, students, teachers and general public over the just released 2017 KCSE results spells grave credibility concerns with the recently released results. Indeed,a positive response to the unequivocal call from the public for the who, what, when, how and why of the setting, marking and grading of this very high stakes national examinations will go a long way in giving us hope- we the parents of the children of this nation of your commitment to steer the education process of our children in the right direction.

The current uproar aside,  I wish to re-emphasize, as an education scholar, that the  call for transparency on the marking and grading of 2017 KCSE and if possible past examinations is based  on extensive evidence form education research from across the world. This evidence points to the fact that  clear, detailed and transparent feedback on  outcomes of such summative examinations like KCSE is very important in helping students improve on their strategic engagement with their learning and preparation for such high stakes  examination.

In other words, making the process of determining of the grading boundaries clear for example, is important not just for the 2017 candidates but also the students who will be sitting for their KCSE in subsequent years. Specifically,  knowledge of the grade boundaries forms part the critical  formative feedback on their current levels of achievement: it allows them to consider their current performance against range of grade boundaries for each subjects across a number of years. Such  information is particularly useful in helping the students with their planning and goal setting: for example determining how much they can divide the deplete-able resources like time across the subjects. Such capacity for strategic planning for their learning has been found to be very important in boosting students': motivation for learning; sense of confidence in their 'ability' to succeed in individual subjects and overall boost in their level of achievement in examinations.

At a broader level, opening the setting, marking and grading process to the public scrutiny will be important in enhancing the credibility of the examination results. This is important if the results are to be used as feedback on  the quality of teaching and learning that takes place during the four years of the students'  secondary school learning. In other words, it is only  when the credibility the KCSE examinations results is not in doubt,  that we as a country, can fully interrogate the effectiveness of current quality assurance measures for effective teaching and learning in our Kenya secondary schools.

H.E President Uhuru Kenyatta,  we the citizens of our beloved country Kenya, at the forefront being The parents and students are calling upon you to instruct for the 2017 KCSE's  setting, marking and grading process to be made clear. Doing so would be an assurance  to us that indeed you hold dear to your heart the future and destiny of our children -THE CORNERSTONE OF KENYA'S FUTURE PROSPERITY! .



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