Students race against time as course revision window closes
Phase one for 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination candidates to apply or revise their university or college courses closes today.
Kenya Universities and Colleges Central Placement Service (KUCCPS) opened its portal on May 17 to allow students make their applications, amid calls to consider TVET opportunities.
KUCCPS Chief Executive Officer Mercy Wahome said those who applied at school before KCSE exams were expected to revise their choices to take into account the programme costs as published in the portal.
“Detailed guidelines, minimum requirements, available programmes and their costs and universities and colleges are accessible on the portal,” said Wahome when the portal was opened.
Results for the 2022 KCSE exams indicate that 19.9 per cent or 173,127 of 869,782 candidates scored C+ and above, the minimum entry grade for degree programmes.
The remaining 696,655 (80.1 per cent) scored grades between C and E, with KUCCPS urging them to take advantage of available technical and vocational education and training (TVET) opportunities.
Wahome said this will not only provide a pathway to higher education for the thousands of youths but also reduce wastage.
In Turkana, for instance, some 7,889 candidates sat the 2022 KCSE exam, out of whom only 13 per cent scored C+ and above.
“There are TVET institutions in Lodwar that students who scored D- and E can enrol for certificate and artisan courses. They can later pursue diploma courses at Turkana University College,” she said last week during an open day at Turkana University College.
She expressed concern that some Form Four leavers who attained the minimum university entry grade of C+ had resorted to fishing in Lake Turkana instead of pursuing higher education.
Wahome said every student stands a chance to further their studies despite their grade, even as she urged teachers to contact their former students and mobilise them to apply for courses through the KUCCPS portal.
“Kindly tell them, regardless of what they got, they can come and start over. Let them come and apply for certificate, diploma and degree courses of their choice,” she told teachers at the forum.
The KUCCPS boss also urged the youth to take up opportunities offered at the National Polytechnics and public technical and vocational institutions, which have listed their artisan, craft and diploma courses on the KUCCPS portal.
They include new entrants such as the Kengen Geothermal Training Centre, whose courses provide skills for the energy sector and the Morendat Institute of Oil and Gas, which has listed TVET courses in engineering, environmental science, laboratory science and telecommunication, among others.
The government has pledged to create employment opportunities for TVET graduates by investing in five priority sectors of agriculture, micro, small and medium enterprises, housing, healthcare, the digital superhighway and creative economy.
Only students who apply through the portal and are placed for degree programmes in public universities and diploma, craft certificate and artisan courses in TVET institutions will be eligible for government scholarship.
They will also be eligible to receive a loan from Higher Education Loans Board (HELB).
Students placed in private universities and other institutions will not qualify for government scholarship but are eligible to apply for a loan from HELB.
At the end of the application period, the portal will close to give way for simulation after which KUCCPS will release the placement results.
Institutions then issue admission letters and joining instructions.
According to the new model, funding of courses will be categorised according to students’ needs, with the vulnerable and extremely needy receiving full government support.
Students joining universities and colleges in September will use a new funding model, which the government announced last month.
The funding model for universities will be pegged on the cost of degree programmes.
According to the new model, government financial allocation to universities will focus on individual students, which means Form Four students will no longer be required to apply for courses to pursue in tertiary institutions before they sit their KCSE exam.