Officials shift blame over missed exams

November 9, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – The Ministry of Education and The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) are on the spot yet again over the failure to take action against a school that failed to register Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates for a second year running.

Speaking to Capital News on Tuesday, Education Secretary George Godia admitted that his ministry did not take appropriate measures against the Hidden Talent Academy situated in Dagoreti, Nairobi.

Twenty one students from the school have missed out on this year’s KCPE examinations that kicked off countrywide on Tuesday.

The pupils were shocked on Monday when they realised that they had not been registered with the national examinations body, and were therefore barred from sitting this year’s papers.

Prof Godia said Hidden Talent was a private school whose headmaster did not operate under the Teacher’s Service Commission (TSC) code of ethics and that made the case difficult to monitor.

“If this was a TSC teacher, then you know obviously, the code of ethics would apply but because (now) you have to get a report, the police have to be involved and various charges have to be brought forward,” he said.

The Kenya National Examination Council on the other hand distanced itself from the situation saying it normally gives advance warning to candidates and their parents to check their registration well ahead of the deadline.

 “If a candidate learns they are not registered a day or two before the examinations it is actually impossible for them to get any examination because by that time, all examination materials have been prepared,” said the KNEC Chief Executive Officer Paul Wasanga.

“It is an appeal really for the parents and the candidates themselves to check these documents which are normally given to head teachers,” he said.

He urged parents and candidates to be more proactive in using the SMS services provided to check whether they have been registered for their examinations.

Speaking to Capital News on phone from Kajiado, Mr Wasanga said doing this would ensure all students are registered. He said that KNEC will be working with the Ministry of Education to find schools that have not been registered and necessary action to be taken on their head teachers.

The Ministry of Education is further seeking to strengthen its monitoring mechanisms to ensure that all schools register their examination candidates before the set deadline.

Prof Godia said lack of coordination between the government and the KNEC made it easy for unscrupulous individuals to take advantage of parents and candidates and fleece them of their money.

“What we would like to do is to appeal to parents (to be vigilant) because KNEC had also put an advert in the media way back in July informing them that they could cross-check and see whether the candidates are registered.”


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