After a minimum of four years in high school, Kenyan students have to sit for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams – that is for students who study under the 8-4-4 system.
The KCSE results, in most cases determines who gets and who doesn’t get to university, college, polytechnic etc, how fast they get there and how much money they spend to finally get a chance to get a degree, diploma or certificate of their own.
What teachers tell students in high school
Like in other areas of life, high school has teachers that will tell you that you begin failing in life once you get a bad grade in KCSE (a synonym for failing to join university or a prestigious college).
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Growing up in a society that still believes so much that one’s success is greatly determined by their academic success, many students cannot do anything but believe what their teachers say.
Whether at home or in school, teachers and parents will always repeat the same thing:
Failure in KCSE = A lot of suffering, average life, low pay, misery, misery, misery…
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To some extent there is truth to what they say.
However, they should consider that even if they use that tactic to inspire their students into working harder, their tone and choice of words sometimes help them achieve the exact opposite.
That’s why you’ll find more students who consider themselves failures even before they sit their national examination.
And that’s perhaps why cheating in the national examination is so an attractive option to thousands of students. It is also the reason why many schools go to great lengths to get examination papers before the official examination dates.
All this just proves how our society is so afraid of academic failures – for the simple fact that it is one of the major highways that lead to miserable, poverty-filled life.
Can KCSE really determine how successful you become after high school?
Yes and no.
Yes because if you are a person who isn’t ready to nurture their talent and dedicate time to teach themselves new things related to their talent, you’ll only have to depend on a good grade to get a better pay to support yourself in life in the years to come.
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I am in no way insinuating that:
- Students who don’t nurture their talents now can’t ever start doing it at any time they so choose.
- Students should not work hard towards attaining academic excellence because they have great talent they are working on. I know how important education (and the certificate at the end of secondary school education) is to many Kenyans. Plus, there are a ton of other things that lead to a successful life that can be learned by anyone, outside the classroom.
No, because life is greater than the results you get at the end of the four year course.
Students who understand this are able to do great things even after attaining low KCSE grades.
You can get back to high school and re-sit the national examination. You can upgrade individual subjects in various colleges, universities and other institutions offering higher education (usually takes under 6 months). You can start with a certificate or diploma and move up the ladder.
Do you know how to get what you want in life?
As long as you know what you want to do with your life, the next thing you’ll think about is:
How do I get there?
Now, students will do different things here. Simply because student A is not student B and student C may not have the same goals as student A or B.
I don’t know what you want in life or how you want to get there but I am sure you’ll be glad to read more articles on this site to help you in your quest to become a better person and lead a successful life regardless of what transpired in your past.
Arm yourself with the necessary tools that will help you stop thinking that your life’s success is pegged on the results you get after sitting your KCSE. If you are still in high school, remember that hard work, love (of God) and dedication will take you places.
There is no short cut to hard work.
There is no better day to start working towards building a successful life than today. If you say I’ll start tomorrow chances are that you’ll say the same thing when tomorrow comes.
So get to work.
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Get to know yourself more.
Always remember that you are special and capable and that the best way to start building the foundation for a successful life is to know who you are, know where you are now, where you have been, where you want to be, and to love yourself and get to work setting and achieving goals.
If you have any experiences you want to share or questions you’d like to ask, the comments section is all yours.