The Ministry of Education has put on notice seven national schools over interference with the upcoming Form 1 selection exercise.
On Monday Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha said 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results will be released in the next two weeks if things go to plan.
The CS said that the marking of multiple choices papers was complete and that marking of English Composition and Kiswahili Insha was on its way to completion.
“We had a schedule and in the inside of the next two weeks, the results will be out,” said Prof. Magoha, adding that should there be any changes to the schedule, the same will be communicated by his office.
He was speaking in Kisumu town after supervising the distribution of exam paper to schools.
This means Form 1 selection exercise will kick off immediately after the marking exercise is concluded and results released to the public.
However the Ministry of Education through a circular sent to County Director of Education – Nakuru, County Director of Education – Kericho and the Regional Director of Education – Nairobi has issued a warning to seven national schools which due not adhere to the laid down guidelines.
According to the Ministry the schools are accused of pre selecting their form one class prior to the National Form one Selection process.
“The purpose of this letter is to ask you to inform the Principals of the listed schools in your jurisdiction to ensure that they only pre-select candidates who have chosen their schools as per the KNEC data base. The National Selection process will ignore the pre-selection of such candidates and place them in schools of their choice and on merit if this instruction is not adhered to,” said the Ministry through a circular.
The schools targeted in this crack down are;
1. Starehe Boys Centre – (Nairobi)
2. Starehe Girls – (Nairobi)
3. Moi Forces Academy – (Nairobi)
4. Moi Forces – Lanet – (Nakuru)
5. Utumishi Academy – (Nakuru)
6. Utumishi Girls – (Nakuru)
7. Moi Tea Girls – (Kericho)
The 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates will join Form One in July 2021 after the marking exercise is completed and selection exercise done, PS for Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr Julius Jwan said.
Jwan last however said the ministry is yet to settle for a specific date for admissions of learners to high school in July.
CS Magoha said all measures have been put in place to ensure KCPE results are released in good time.
Further, the CS said that the Covid-19 pandemic had posed a great challenge to the Ministry of Education as some examiners were unable to show up for the marking due to the current movement restriction in the country.
This was as a result of the partial lockdown of some counties, while others decided not to turn up due to their fears over the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Prof. Magoha noted that this has not interfered with the schedule and that his Ministry had done enough to ensure the results are delivered on time.
“As I said, we are on track. We shall keep updating you on the progress, and we shall keep sharing any events that we find necessary,” he said.
Prof. Magoha said his office will continue to monitor the examinations across the country despite reports of irregularities.
“Today marks the third week of the examinations, and we are proceeding extremely well, considering all things. The examination has gone as per the schedule, except a few tricks that I warned about earlier,” he said, adding that such cases will be dealt with accordingly.
The CS concluded by saying that this year’s examinations had so far experienced low integrity issues as only 15 people and 15 phones had been confiscated adding that if the phones are found with examination content, then necessary actions will be taken against their respective owners.
A total of 1,191,725 candidates in 28,467 schools were registered to sit for KCPE exam.
He warned school heads against hiking fees without consulting the ministry when schools reopen.
Nearly 1.2 million candidates wrote the 2020 KCPE exams after resuming school in October after the school calendar was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Schools were closed indefinitely in March 2020 when the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya.
Since then, the country has been through three waves of the virus, with the third wave proving to be lethal.
In the last three weeks alone, thousands of infections have been reported with double-digit deaths.
The PS, also urged Kenyans to be sensitive especially when addressing young girls who wrote their exams while pregnant.
“Forcing them to name those who impregnated them will be contributing to their mental anguish”.
However CS Magoha faces a fresh hurdle after teachers demanded higher pay for examination officials and enhanced conditions for all professionals contracted during the administration of the tests.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) wants the exam agency to raise marking fees for each script by at least Sh50, citing the present harsh economic times.
Kuppet argues that papers like Chemistry Paper 1, Mathematics and English Paper 1 should each be paid at not less than sh100.
Presently marking each paper attracts between Sh51 to Sh58.
“Science teachers (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) need to be considered for allowances during practical. Other practical subjects like Agriculture, Building & Construction, Music and Home Sciences should be considered too,” said Kuppet secretary general Akello Misori.
The teachers’ union also wants Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) to increase invigilators’ and supervisors’ allowances by 100 per cent, saying the present fee has been fixed for a long time.
The union also wants school heads, also known as centre managers allowance, which is presently Sh500, to be reviewed upwards.
Presently, primary school head teachers are paid a flat rate of Sh500 for the three days they oversee the administration of KCPE.
KCPE supervisors earn Sh2,485 while invigilators take home Sh1,615. Security officers are paid 1,050 while drivers earn Sh1,040.
KCSE supervisors in Nairobi and Mombasa are paid Sh695 per day for 18 days, translating to Sh12,510.
Supervisors from other regions earn Sh630 for the same number of days, translating to Sh11,340.
Invigilators in Nairobi and Mombasa earn Sh580 per day for 17 days, while invigilators from other regions get Sh460 for a similar number of days.
Secondary school principals take home a flat rate of Sh500 for 18 days, translating to Sh9,000.
Security officers who take part in KCSE’s administration earn a flat rate of Sh420 for 16 days while drivers earn Sh6,480 for the same number of days.
The union also wants transport reimbursement for supervisors and invigilators from ASAL areas to be reviewed upwards since most of the areas are expansive, forcing some to travel up to 200 km to reach their schools.
“The rates for counties such as Wajir and Tana River should be enhanced,” said Misori.
In a firm statement, Kuppet also wants coordination allowances increased by half. “Examiners’ transport allowances should be reviewed, especially when reporting to marking centres,” said Misori.
Union also wants lecturers in Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) who assess and submit marks to KNEC to be paid for their work.
“The same should apply to TVET trainers who assess candidates on practical courses.”
On the overall conditions of teachers working conditions, Kuppet wants marking centres should be devolved and probably rotated around the country unlike now when they are only in Nairobi.
Union also wants the working hours during marking be fixed between 8.00 am to 5.00 pm to avoid fatigue.
And after the examination administration processes, Kuppet wants the teachers awarded certificates.
“Examiners should be given Certificates of Attendance to help improve their CVs for interviews during promotions,” said Misori.
Kuppet last year demanded that the venue for marking all KCSE examination papers and KCPE English composition, as well as Kiswahili insha, be moved to university campuses or other high-level government institutions.