MPs Propose Supplementary Exams to KCSE, KCPE Candidates in Hospitals, Labour Rooms
The National Assembly Committee on Education has urged the Kenya national examination council to formulate a better policy on how exams are administered to students admitted to hospitals due to sickness or pregnancy.
The Committee chairperson, Julius Melly has revealed that the Committee is proposing the introduction of supplementary exams as a remedy for hospitalised students in future after this year’s exams.
“Imagine a student is giving birth at six in the morning, then you want her to sit for an exam at eight, is it possible? She is mentally and physically not ready.
We have told them (Knec) that it is wrong; actually, it is unfair, unkind and inhuman to give an exam to a sick person who has undergone surgery or is under medication,” he stated. On their part, Knec said they require Sh350 million to complete its new headquarters which has been under construction for the last 36 years. Once the funds are available, Knec told the committee that it would complete the new Mitihani House in one year.
The MPs said it is only Wing C of the three-winged six-storey building which is complete and currently in use while Wing B has two more incomplete floors. Despite Parliament allocating money every financial year to the project, the committee learnt that the council has been diverting the money to pay pending bills.
The funds, Knec said, will be used to build the remaining sections of Wing A. “We had a tour of the building; we saw that Wing C is currently in use from the basement to the top floor which is now housing all the offices that were in town. On Wing B, they are now on the fourth floor while for Wing A, they are now requesting for funds,” Melly said. He added: “We have put pressure on them to make sure they do not incur a lot of pending bills.
They have assured the committee that they need Sh350 million to complete the whole structure.” Melly said they have urged Knec to link up with Technical and Vocational Education and Training institutes so that they get government expertise to speed up the project. However, printing of business and technical subject exams is also being done in the building, with Knec exuding confidence that they will soon start printing all exam papers locally.
“They have modern printing machines worth Sh100 million and the building is very secure. There has been no leakage of exams being printed here. As a committee will are happy that our demand to have exams printed locally is being actualised,” the Tinderet MP added.
Examination body Committee also waded into the issue of schools withholding certificates, and pushed the examination body and Ministry of Education to issue a circular to learning institutions to release them. “KCSE certificates belong to the government and Knec is the custodian. They don’t belong to the schools.
They should be released to the students, immediately after they reach the school. We have agreed they issue a circular to all principals, that no certificate should be withheld in any school,” he explained. Similarly, the committee called on Knec to resume printing certificates that are reported to have been lost or destroyed to end the agony of candidates applying for jobs.
Before 2016, Melly said, Knec used to reproduce lost certificates but there was a challenge of corruption, prompting the government to stop the reprinting. Instead, the government introduced a letter of certification, to be produced to authorities demanding the lost certificate. “Certificates can get burnt or lost as the students are travelling.
Even if a school leaver is issued with a letter of certification, it may not be admissible to some government authorities when seeking an opportunity. We have agreed with Knec, let’s go back to the reprinting and indicate on the top of the certificate that it is a reprint,” he said.