MPs oppose move to scrap KCPE

December 8, 2010 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 8 – A Motion seeking to abolish the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination is now facing mounting opposition from a section of Members of Parliament.

Legislators Ekwe Ethuro, David Koech and Olago Olouch on Wednesday led members in expressing their reservations with the Motion even after debate on the issue was postponed to next week because the mover was absent in Parliament.

The three argued that the Motion was creating anxiety in the country.

"The absence of the sponsor is a sign that he his agreeing with the mood of the House that this Motion must be defeated," said Mr Ethuro to applause by fellow lawmakers.

"The chair should drop this Motion."

Mr Olouch backed the views of his colleagues.

"I totally agree with Mr Ethuro," he said eliciting more applause from members.

The Motion was slated for debate on Wednesday morning but could not proceed as its sponsor Ndaragwa MP Jeremiah Kioni was not in the House to move it, owing to what Deputy Speaker Farah Maalim said was a "personal emergency."

"Mr Speaker, the nation is waiting because it concerns the welfare of the children of this country," argued Mr Koech.

Mr Maalim ruled that the Motion will now be listed for debate next Wednesday. Education Minister Sam Ongeri has previously indicated he will oppose the Motion once is comes up for debate.

The Motion seeks to compel the government to scrap the exam and instead provide for a continuous, uninterrupted education system from level one to form four in order to accord all Kenyan students universal basic education.

Mr Kioni argues that the class eight exam locks out hundreds of thousands of pupils from joining secondary school.

The legislator argues that education is a fundamental human right every child is entitled to and therefore the government should ensure that all children have access to it.

He says the nation should acknowledge that education enhances lives and ends generational cycles of poverty and disease and provides a foundation for sustainable development.

Should MPs endorse the Motion with a simple majority the government shall be tasked to come up with an implementation schedule which will involve amending the law through a Bill.

The Motion has received support from primary school heads.


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