Parents of students taking the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in March 2022 will have to dig deeper into their pockets to help their children.
This comes after the Nairobi High Court granted the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) permission to merge exam centers with fewer than 30 candidates.
Due to concerns about the safety of students, parents and guardians will now be required to pay for additional transportation costs.
According to Justice Anthony Mrima, the petition by parents was dismissed because the petitioner failed to challenge a circular issued in July 2021.
He went on to say that even if the court overturned three previous circulars issued in May and June, the July circular was sufficient to provide the necessary guidelines for the joint hosting of the exams.
“The purpose of the July circular was to provide updated instructions on the joint hosting of examination centers.” “It is a stand-alone communication that speaks clearly about what the addresses are supposed to do,” Justice Mrima stated.
“In the unique circumstances of this case, quashing the circulars will be a futile exercise. It will be in vain because the joint hosting of the examination centers will continue to be carried out in accordance with the July circular. That invitation is declined by this court.”
Following KNEC’s announcement, a petition was filed at the High Court. The petitioner claimed that parents were burdened by the high cost of living, and that merging exam centers would affect students from underserved communities.
According to KNEC, the exam center merger would improve the security and safety of candidates and examiners, address transportation issues, reduce rising administrative costs, and maintain the integrity of examinations.
However, petitioner David Wanyeki Kago had filed a complaint against KNEC, claiming that there was no public participation and that parents were not consulted before the directive was issued in July.
Kago also complained that between May and July 2021, KNEC issued a slew of contradictory flyers about exam center consolidation.
Meanwhile, in primary schools, Grades 3, 4, and 5 began national tests as part of their continuous assessment.