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Kenya: Students with lower grades to join University

Discussion in 'Kenyan News and Politics' started by Maxence Melo, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Maxence Melo

    Maxence Melo JF Founder Staff Member

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    By SAMUEL SIRINGI
    Sunday, August 2 2009


    Public universities will on Monday agree to admit high school graduates with lower marks compared to last year, according to Nation estimates.

    The universities will set the minimum score for admission at a B Plain of between 65 and 66 points. The Nation estimate is based on the same criteria used by the Joint Admissions Board, the committee of top dons which is charged with setting admission policy for the seven public universities.

    The dons, meeting on Monday at Maseno University, will look at how students performed in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in 2008, the beds (and lecture halls) available at various campuses and the number of students the government is willing to sponsor.

    Regular programme

    The regular programme at public universities is funded by the exchequer. Students locked out of that programme can still join the universities, but they will have to pay their own fees.

    A loan scheme is administered by the Higher Education Loans Board. Based on those factors, JAB should admit about 18,000 out of the 72,500 who scored a mean grade of C+ or better, the minimum grade for joining university in Kenya.

    This effectively locks out about 50,000 candidates who qualified. Some 304,995 high school students sat the exam.

    Since the places available in the regular programmes are limited — and the fact that the government cannot sponsor all qualifiers — the JAB will this morning set the cut-off point of entry.

    The cut-off point is likely to be lower because last year students did not perform as well as the previous year, when 82,000 students scored a mean grade of C+ and above. Universities have also increased colleges and campuses and hence the bed and lecture hall capacity.

    New record

    This year’s expected selection will be a new record in the 20-year history of the 8-4-4 system. It will be higher than the 16,629 admitted from the candidates who sat the 2007 KCSE. The maximum a candidate can score in the exams is an A of 84 points.

    Scoring 66 points represents the highest point a candidate can score to obtain a mean grade of B plain. With 65 points, the other likely cut-off point, a candidate also obtains a B plain.


    Source:
    Daily Nation
     
  2. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Mkuu,

    naona hapa unamtafuta bwana Smatta. Ngoja watakuja na
    kero zao lukuki.Kem subiri uone.
     
  3. Maxence Melo

    Maxence Melo JF Founder Staff Member

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    Asiniwakie mie ati, si imeandikwa na Nation? That's a Kenyan Newspaper so he/she will need to discuss the above article reflecting the current situation in Kenya.
     
  4. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Hali VP Maxence,
    I read the article in Todays paper, its good coz as you have seen, the number of Universities and their constituent colleges have increased over the years, and the students didnt perform well in the national exams compared to the other years, and to put the cut off point too high would be unfair for the students. The more we build universities, the more we admit students and thus the cut off point will automatically reduce. Having cleared that, you didnt have to come out strongly as if I had already responded to your thread, its a nice thread, ripe for healthy discussions... and BTW am a HE.

    Regards,
     
  5. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    Well stated and I tip my hat to you.

    That said, I hate the Kenyan system when they shift the goal posts like this on education matters.
     
  6. R

    Rodelite JF-Expert Member

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    This is an opportunity for more students to get Higher education......Great move.
     
  7. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Bwana Ab, mbona wasema tuna shift goal posts?? The system still applies and the only change is the cut off points in this years University intake. Its not like its changed every other day, this case is an exception. the main reason the candidates failed is because there was ALLEGATIONS of mass cheating in the examination, so it is thought that the markers bacame very strict on the marking and that reflected on the results.
     
  8. Ab-Titchaz

    Ab-Titchaz Content Manager Staff Member

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    This is what I mean bro.... New Rules For Kenya Varsity Entry.

    P.S. Those cut off points indeed are the goal posts.
     
  9. Juma Contena

    Juma Contena JF-Expert Member

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    well Mh, if that is the case, then certain Universities need to be reserved for those with high marks or else how do you separate average kids from brainboxes in the future or, how would employers know who is who and invest in the kid. I'm thinking young fresh ideas from young fresh graduates. Remember not all are the same ndio maana wengine wamefika bench mark ya pass na wengine inabidi washushiwe ili waweze kuingia shule?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 5, 2009
  10. Smatta

    Smatta JF-Expert Member

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    Well said, but do you know that a student with C is qualified to enroll in a university as a self sponsored student, this simply implies that an average C student is already qualified to be enrolled in a Uni, but the government can only sponsor B+ students (probably due to financial reasons), therefore if the goverment raises the cut off points means only two things;

    1. There has been an increase in the number of Unis compared to the previous years and thus there needs to be an increase in the intakes.

    2. There was poor performance in general , that the cut off point had to be brought down so as to increase the number of enrollments to fill the spaces available.

    This shows that the students enrolled are not in any way unqualified to be in the Uni, and to say that we should enroll the brain boxes and the average Uni student in different Universities is not realistic, because this will block the average students from pursuing their careers, where employers will prefer students from certain Unis and ignore the rest.
     
  11. Juma Contena

    Juma Contena JF-Expert Member

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    well thanx, yes it my prove to be the line of creating bias toward some graduates but also it ensures Kenyans future leaders or those holding senior vacancies are of very high intelligence you need that assurance first. Of course you cant allow every University doing that, but the best University in Kenya should be reserved for those with the set bench mark pass. assuming both sets of your examples are the factors.
     
  12. bm21

    bm21 JF-Expert Member

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    Your argument is sensible especially in the first part. Basically the acceptable entry marks by a student under private sponsorship should be acknowledged as the university cut off point. Of course we note government budget deficit can necessitate a rationing cut of point over and above the university cut off point.

    Nevertheless, the second point seems not to be aiming at quality but rather quantity of graduands. General poor performance should not be an excuse to lower the cut off point if we're aiming at quality of our graduands. I remember in 2002/03 at Sokoine University, there were no graduate for Agricultural Engineering as a result of being discontinued from studies. Except one student who did exams to enter final year (Year 4) failed ans thus were discontinued. In this regard the only student who passed was sent to Norway for completion of his studies. This shows that, other things being equal, SUA was firm on quality rather than quantity of student graduating at the University. In view of the above, I would like to differ with your second urgument.

    Cheers
     
  13. N

    Namtih58 JF-Expert Member

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    I beg to differ mkuu. For one, when the performance of a whole group is poor in any test, it is not necessarily an indicator of poor performance. It might be because the difficulty level of the test in general was set too high. Or there might be some mitigating circumstances that affected the whole population as a whole.

    In this case the only way to know for sure how the performance was, is to perform a statistical analysis for the whole population and possibly normalize the grades.

    secondly the government may have a set amount of money to finance those who qualify and because the said amount cannot be redirected, in this regard then the only option is to modify the criteria by which students qualify for funding to ensure that the amount set aside for the financial year is all used.
     
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