Your policy on exam centres Unfair, Senate Summons KNEC, MOE

The new policy on the registration of exam centres will disadvantage learners in the hardship and sparsely populated areas and should be revised, senators have said.

The lawmakers said the policy, which requires a centre to have a minimum of 40 candidates, will force candidates to trek long distances to sit national exams.

The Ministry of Education, through the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), has announced schools with less than 40 candidates will no longer be registered as KCSE and KCPE examination centres.

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However, the senators said the policy is discriminatory to many learners in hardship and marginalised areas. They demanded answers from Education CS George Magoha on the criteria used to arrive at the policy.

Bomet’s Christopher Langat said the CS should explain to the House, through the Education committee, what was considered before arriving at the minimum number per centre.

“The committee should state whether factors such as distance between homesteads and schools, weather elements, geographical features and cultural activities were considered in developing the criteria,” he said.

Langat wants the CS to give reasons behind the policy and its implications to hardship and marginalised areas that may not raise the required number.

Magoha will also be required to clarify if his ministry engaged stakeholders before coming up with the criteria.

“The committee should outline measures that the ministry will put in place to facilitate the ease of movement of candidates learning in schools that do not meet the threshold.”

Earlier this week, acting Knec CEO Mercy Karogo said centres that do not meet the threshold will be merged during the 2021 exams.

The host schools must be within the same subcounty as the hosted school and should be served by the same exam distribution centre.

“Schools that are more than five kilometres away from the nearest examination centre must seek special approval from the council before August 15, 2021, to conduct an examination in their centres,” the Knec boss said.

During examinations, only host school heads are authorised to collect exam material from the distribution centre and coordinate the return of answer scripts to the container.

Karogo said the directive applies to both public and private schools.

Subcounty directors of education are required to submit the list of host and hosted schools by August 15. The policy, however, does not apply to special interest schools.

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