, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 13 – The Ministry of Education is working on new guidelines that will ensure that the integrity of examination certificates is restored.
The guidelines set to be tabled soon in Parliament will have stiffer penalties on responsibilities of all those involved in examination process.
“The integrity of exams in the country is a challenge. Hence as we plan to table the guidelines in Parliament we will also hold meetings with primary and secondary association to ensure that any forms of malpractices are done away with,” Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said.
Sweeping changes have been done at the Kenya National Examinations Council with a view of restoring examinations integrity.
Last month, the government disbanded the Kenya National Examinations Council board over last year’s national exams cheating scandal.
Speaking at the Bomas of Kenya when presiding over the opening ceremony of the 8th annual national secondary students’ council leaders’ conference, the CS said the ministry is beginning to focus on developing talents of children both in primary and secondary levels.
“We will allow this year a budget line for the student councils so that they are able to get resources,” stated the CS.
“Student leaders play a critical role in schools. We are beginning to find one of the critical values we need to uphold in our country that of democratic and participatory leadership and we want to engage young people right from school,” noted Matiang’i.
The CS was quick to assure that the government is committed towards providing quality education saying that this year alone Sh3.4 billion will be spent to cater for exam fees in both levels of education.
Matiang’i said as much as the young people have always been referred to as the hope for the country, several challenges still compounds them.
“Pre-marital sexual activities led to over 3000 students sitting for their 2015 national exams out of classrooms,” said Matiang’i adding, “ this is because many were either about to deliver or admitted in hospital.”
Matiang’i called on leaders as well as teachers to discourage reckless premarital sexual behaviour since it’s a threat that urgently needs to be dealt with.
He also called upon the students to desist from violence especially now that we are heading to the General Election come next year.
“The youth of our country time and again have been used as perpetrators of violence in political context.”
Earlier, Kenya secondary schools head association national chair John Awiti had challenged the government to consider providing capitation money for students’ council to help fund their activities.
Matiang’i said the ministry will this year allow a budget line for the students’ council.
The CS said cases of indiscipline had drastically gone down as students are involved in decision making.
The annual national secondary students’ council leaders’ was formed in the year 2008 to boost the relevance of student participation in school governance.
UNICEF in partnership with the Government through the Ministry of Education conducted a survey which established that the initiative has empowered students to take part in the decision making process for a more cohesive school community and conducive learning environment.
The survey also indicated that student participation in school management tends to improve learning and instils positive values in the child.
Therefore, other than election of student leaders, schools are encouraged to involve their students in matters that affect their lives including student discipline and how they can channel their grievances.