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POOR PERFORMANCE IN SCIENCE RELATED COURSES SPELLS DOOM FOR KENYA’S SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

Less than 10 percent of students who sat for KCSE 2018 qualified for degree courses related to the sciences

By Winnie Kabintie

A new report by university Vice Chancellors (VCs) has warned that important courses that are core to the country’s development will possibly be scrapped in the near future for lack of students.

According to the report, Status of University Education in Kenya, there is an alarming massive failure in mathematics and the sciences in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, which has seen very few students qualify for degree courses related to the sciences.

This year,  many agriculture and science-based courses have reportedly not attracted students owing to the poor performance.

Less than 10 percent of students who sat for KCSE 2018 qualified for degree courses related to the sciences.

“95 per cent of students scored below the C+ pass mark in biology in 2018 while in 2017 98 percent did not hit the pass mark,” the report observes.

Make Agriculture Compulsory Subject

Speaking during the presentation of the report on Tuesday during a conference on the higher education sector, Prof Daniel Mugendi Njiru of the University of Embu, said affirmative action is required to redeem courses that are of strategic national importance and crucial in the attainment of vision 2030.

“Programmes of strategic national importance such as agriculture, environmental science, wildlife management, natural resources management and water resources management require some affirmative action,” said Prof Njiru.

The VCs have recommended among other things that agriculture be made a compulsory subject in secondary school so that those joining universities are able to pursue courses related to agriculture and natural resources among others.

“If no one is getting into agriculture courses, how will the country realise food security now and in the future?” Prof Njiru posed.

The university dons also proposed for the entry grade in the biology cluster be lowered to C plain.

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