Open letter to MOE and KNEC
2013 project was retired with time. Now let us analyze bit by bit about that foregone event.
First, I would like to criticize exam setters and syllabus makers for incompetence and overestimating the integrity of computer students in the country. I fault computer project 2013 in a number of factors that made computer students work as in hell in a cell. Below are some of the reasons why!
1. KCSE 2013 project was impractical with office 2003 and XP simply because the total function was a necessity but it’s only available with office 2007 and later versions. Therefore this begs a question- what happened to those students whose computer lab operates with older versions of Windows Office? I think this is where examiners need to research before rolling their exam.
2. It was almost impossible to adhere to the requirements of the question paper without the use of macros and modules.
I can as well argue that this project was to be best done with a programming language like Visual Basic or Java- to some extent rampant use of modules and macros since it’s recommended to use Microsoft Access.
Apparently, none of the above coding languages are provided by the computer syllabus;
Therefore, does it mean we should teach even topics not in the syllabus? And which are these topics? KNEC should clarify.
3. The project was much far above the standards of form 4 students. These are the kind of projects that third year and forth year computer science students are given in our local universities. But giving this kind of a project to a student who makes a maximum of 80 minutes visit to the computer lab a week and at the same time expect competence is unacceptable. I therefore challenge KNEC to stick with the syllabus while setting computer paper 3 or they should rectify the syllabus because technology has also changed. example:
a) Typing modes are not available with Office 2007 and later versions
b) The total function with databases is not available with Office XP and 2003
c) Screen layout vary from one version to another therefore parts of a screen layout are quite different e.g. Office 2010 has no office button, office 2007 doesn’t have the file menu with the procedure of mail merging different in every office application you want to use.
I would like to challenge MOE and KNEC to revise the computer syllabus because what we have currently; addresses needs which should be laid to rest in the archives. Example: I don’t know why we should be teaching about the floppy disk which is no longer used anywhere in the world, you cannot even find them in computer shops and academic trips-firms, they are no longer used and with almost all students have no copy of how they look like. Yet we have flash disks, DVDs, HDD to talk about. What I mean is that the computer syllabus has been caught up with time whence drastic changes are a must if we have to address the difference between digital and analogue.
It makes sense to be revised at least once in every 5 years and accommodate new technologies in the market, computer labs should meet a given criteria set by the ministry if computer studies performance is to be enhanced. Over to you: MOE and KNEC.