Ed­u­ca­tion quag­mire: Fault is Knec’s, and Knec’s alone

Nairobi Law Monthly - - Analysis -

Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil pro­ceeded to is­sue ex­ams that were proven to have been leaked, and must ac­cept li­a­bil­ity, apol­o­gise and re­lease all with­held re­sults

with stake­hold­ers in the sec­tor to al­low him the op­por­tu­nity to prove his met­tle. He pledged to deal firmly with dis­hon­esty in na­tional ex­ams, vow­ing to bring it to the ap­pro­pri­ate con­clu­sion within one year. Given Dr Ma­tian’gi’s vi­tal­ity and abra­sive­ness in run­ning the min­istry since his ap­point­ment, few doubted that he meant busi­ness and would ac­tu­ally de­liver.

Play­ing poker with chil­dren’s lives

In the back­drop of this, a clique of leg­is­la­tors in the Na­tional Assem­bly de­cided to tackle the jug­ger­naut from a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive. Con­vinced that the prob­lem was be­yond the scope of re­demp­tion, the law-mak­ers de­ter­mined to in­tro­duce a Bill that would end the prob­lem. The new law would en­sure that key of­fi­cials at the Kenya Na­tional Ex­am­i­na­tions Coun­cil (Knec) were made to ac­count for what was per­ceived as gross fail­ure at the coun­cil. The pro­posed Bill would com­pel the in­cum­bent of­fi­cials to va­cate of­fice, face le­gal ac­tion and pos­si­bly serve a stint in jail for pur­port­edly play­ing poker with the lives of Kenyan chil­dren through in­ep­ti­tude in pub­lic ser­vice.

Ma­jor­ity of Kenyans would quickly agree that the 2015 Form Four ex­am­i­na­tions were con­tro­ver­sial in an un­prece­dented, stun­ning man­ner. Cer­tainly, ex­am­i­na­tion ir­reg­u­lar­i­ties have al­ways dogged the sys­tem, par­tic­u­larly af­ter 1985 when the 8-4-4 struc­ture was in­tro­duced. At one time, in the 1990’s, this dra­mat­i­cally led to the sus­pen­sion of the KCSE mid­way through its ad­min­is­tra­tion. It re­sumed weeks later. In sub­se­quent years,

Ed­u­ca­tion CS Fred Ma­tiang’i.

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