4 January 2014

Kenya: Enforce Regulations to Ensure Fairness in Exams


It has emerged that several private schools irregularly run more that one examination registration centre. Bright students are registered in one centre and average students in a separate centre so that the one with bright students can perform well and give the school a good name. Placing all the students together means the poor ones will pull down the mean grade of the school.

Following last week's release of KCPE exams, it also emerged that some private schools also have arrangements where bright students from two different schools are 'borrowed' to register in their centre, and the rest of the students sent to the reciprocating school. This is aimed at 'weeding out' the weaklings that will drag down the school's mean grade. These practices are illegal.

The Ministry of Education has failed to enforce a directive issued by former minister Sam Ongeri ordering for a crack-down on schools that flout regulations on registration centres.

The ministry itself cannot be absolved of blame. It is the ministry that registers these centres, after conducting field visits to establish their actual existence. It should stop turning a blind eye.

Kenya National Examinations Council should also do more to ensure that students are registered where they schooled. For while it is its job to administer exams, the council is also a key stakeholder in ensuring fairness for all students and schools.

Quote of the day: "Stories ought not to be just little bits of fantasy that are used to while away an idle hour; from the beginning of the human race stories have been used--by priests, by bards, by medicine men--as magic instruments of healing, of teaching, as a means of helping people come to terms with the fact that they continually have to face insoluble problems and unbearable realities." Joan Delano Aiken, an English writer died on January 4, 2004.

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