Students seeking to pursue Mathematics-related courses could soon be required to have a minimum of C (plain) in English or Kiswahili.
Candidates sitting the 2021 KCSE exam will be the first to encounter the rule, if the proposal put forward by public university bosses is adopted.
The proposal will not affect the cut-off entry grade to university, which remains C+ (plus), but will affect individual subjects required for one to pursue their preferred course.
The courses are computer science, ICT, economics, statistics and finance.
Previously, students only needed Mathematics as the subject determining their placement to these courses.
In the new arrangement, they will need Mathematics plus English or Kiswahili to qualify for placement under government sponsorship.
This follows the recent mass failure in an English test by health workers who applied for jobs in the UK.
In July, the country reached an agreement with Britain to allow unemployed Kenyan health workers to serve in the UK’s National Health Service.
According to Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe, only 10 out of 300 health workers passed the English exam.
The proposal by the university bosses could be a way to ensure proficiency in communication among graduates.
Admission to agricultural, building and construction programmes, as well as some education courses has, however, been made easier under the proposal.
The stakeholders have proposed to lower entry requirement for Biology, Physics or Chemistry from a C+ (plus) to a C (plain) for students seeking to pursue Bachelor of Science with Education
They have scrapped Mathematics as a requirement to pursue a Bachelor of Education-CD. Prospective students will now need to score just a C (plain) in either English or Kiswahili.
Students who want to pursue environmental sciences will now have a wider scope of subjects to secure a place in university, with the introduction of Geography as an alternative to Chemistry, and Agriculture as an alternative to Biology.
This is seen as providing a softer landing as more students perform better in Agriculture and Geography compared to Mathematics and Chemistry.
English or Kiswahili will now be a requirement for environmental sciences.
For Bachelor of Education Business Studies, the bar has been set higher with the placement agency proposing to increase the entry requirement of Mathematics or Business Studies from D+ (plus) to C+ (plus).
Students pursuing Bachelor of Science will now be required to have only scored a C (plain) in one of the three sciences—Biology, Physics or Chemistry—from the previous C+ (plus)
Requirements for degree programmes in fisheries and aquaculture have also been revised downwards, from C+ to C (plain) in Biology and Chemistry.
Students who will wish to pursue ICT-related degree programmes will have to score at least C (plain) in English or Kiswahili. Previously the students were only required to have done will in Mathematics.
Those studying computer science will now need to get at least C (plain) in English or Kiswahili, previously, only two subjects—Maths and Physics—were required to pursue the course.
The same goes for economics, statistics, finance, and operations research.
Those who would like to pursue applied statistics will need English, Physics and Mathematics.
Previously, only Mathematics was required.
Law, education, engineering and health programmes entry requirements remain unchanged.
This is because they are under the supervision of regulators who dictate the requirements.
Students seeking to study community health and health records will need to score a minimum C (plain) in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics. The grade has been lowered from C (plus).
For those seeking to study animal health and production, Agriculture has been introduced as an alternative to Mathematics.
This is seen as a softer landing as more students perform better in Agriculture compared to Mathematics.