Kenya began a campaign for free primary education after independence in 1963.
Since then, the system of education has undergone transformation twice.
Before independence elementary education was based on the colonial system of education.
In 1967, Kenya, with Uganda and Tanzania, formed the East African Community.
The three countries adopted a single system of education, the 7-4-2-3, which consisted of seven years of primary education, four years of secondary education, two years of high school and three to five years of university education.
Under the system, which was similar to the British system of education, children began their primary education at the age of seven and completed at the age of 13 after sitting for a regional examination known as the East African Certificate of Primary Education (EACPE).
After primary education those who passed very well proceeded to secondary school which ended four years later with the writing of the East African Certificate of Education examination (EACE).
The highest level of education that qualified one to attend university was attained after two years of high school at that time distinct from secondary school with students sitting for the East African Advanced Certificate of Education (EAACE).
With the collapse of the East African community in 1977, Kenya continued with the same system of education but changed the examination names from their regional identity to a national identity.
The East African Certificate of Primary Education became the Certificate of Primary Education (CPE), the East African Certificate of Education became the Kenya Certificate of Education (KCE) and the East African Advanced Certificate of Education became the Kenya Advanced Certificate of Education (KACE).
In 1985 President Daniel ArapMoi, introduced the 8-4-4 system of education, which adopted eight years of primary education, four years of secondary education and four years of university education.
With the introduction of the 8-4-4 system CPE became KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education) while KCE became the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
Some private schools, however, offer a system of education similar to the British system of education with ordinary level exams, “O-levels” taken at the end of four years of secondary school and advanced levels “A-levels”, taken after two years of high school.
This past week, there were discussions held at KICC with the new Minister of Education, Mr Mutula Kilonzo, teachers and members of the education sector to discuss whether the 8-4-4 system should be replaced with the 2-6-6-3 system.
Most head teachers, however, felt that the 8-4-4 system was the best and should remain.