Private schools oppose order barring exam centres with less than 40 candidates

Private schools oppose order barring exam centres with less than 40 candidates

The Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) will not allow schools with less than 40 candidates to be registered as national examination centres.

In the circular, Knec acting chief executive Dr Mercy Karogo said only centres that have over 40 candidates as determined by the sub-county education directors will be allowed to register.

Previously, Knec had barred centres with between six and 14 candidates.

But now the new conditions for a minimum of 40 candidates will apply for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) starting with the 2021 examinations early next year.

The condition set by the council is that the host school must be within the sub-counties and served by the same KNEC examination distribution point.

The distribution centres are the containers located at the Deputy County Commissioner (DCC) compounds countrywide.

Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) whose members are likely to be most affected by the directive said it had rejected the directive in total and is looking for a sitting with the council to reverse the decision.

It claims that the move undermines public-private partnership that has promoted access to both primary and secondary schools.

“We are writing to express our deep concern over the manner in which this decision was made without consulting the key education stakeholders.

“It is an abuse to the doctrine of stakeholder participation and an attack on private schools,” KPSA chief executive Peter Ndoro said in a circular to members.

In the KNEC circular dated June 11, to the regional and county directors of education, in the host schools, only centre managers or the headteachers of host schools will be allowed to collect the examination materials at the commission’s distribution points.

“The host headteacher will be the only authorized person to collect the examination materials from the container, coordinate the conduct and the return of the candidates’ answers scripts to the container during each day of the examination,” reads part of the notice.

The sub-county directors have been directed to submit lists of the host examination centres by August 15.

But Ndoro, in a notice to private school owners, said the rules will disrupt the progress made in expanding access to the provision of quality education.

Below is the content of circular Knec sent to schools;


The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) wishes to bring to your attention the following information as regards the hosting of schools with less than forty (40) candidates during the conduct of the 2021 KCPE and KCSE Examinations;

1.1        As per our previous circular KNEC/GEN/CS/PRO/CIR/DEC/2021/02/ rev.7.2 dated 18 May, 2021 on registration of 2021 KCPE and KCSE candidates clause 1.2 stated that “Any  school that has between 6 and 14 candidates will  be  hosted by  another centre to be  determined by the Sub County Director of Education”

1.2        As guided by the Ministry of Education all Head Teachers of Primary Schools and Principals of  Secondary Schools from  both Private and Public Schools with less than Forty (40) candidates will be hosted by an examination centre with  more  than  Forty  (40) candidates during the 2021 KCPE and  KCSE examinations.

1.3        The host  school should be  located within the Sub County where the hosted schools are. 

Both the host school and the hosted school(s) should be  served from one distribution point (Container).

1.4        During the conduct of the examination, the Host Head Teacher/Principal will be  the only authorized  officer to collect the examination materials from the container, coordinate the conduct and return the candidates answer scripts to the Container during each day of the examination.

1.5       All Sub County Directors of Education are informed to submit the list of the host examination centres and hosted examination centres for the March/ April 2021  KCPE and KCSE  examinations by 15   August, 2021.

Dr.  Mercy G. Karogo, MBS

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