Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ruled out recalling the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results.
Dr Matiang’i said the examination grades for both KCSE and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams were credible and verifiable.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General Wilson Sossion and Orange Democratic Movement leader Raila Odinga have led calls for an audit of last year’s KCSE examination, citing massive failures.
But Matiang’i ruled out a recall of the results, accusing his critics of being uneasy with the current reforms being undertaken in the education sector, including weeding out cheating in national examinations.
Matiang’i recalled facing similar criticism when he refused to close schools at the height of a wave of student unrest that saw dormitories in 141 institutions burnt.
“We declined to heed to their calls as we saw a hand in exam cheating and textbook sellers seeking to capitalise on it,” he said.
Matiang’i said the examination system had in the past been taken over by greedy individuals with selfish interests who, for decades, had denied qualified and deserving candidates learning opportunities.
The CS pointed out the link between leakages in the two national examinations, saying beneficiaries of the KCPE examination cheating have for decades proceeded to join the best high schools and eventually benefited from stolen KCSE exams.
“We ran a credible examination and released formidable results in both KCPE and KCSE. The ministry will not be distracted by prophets of doom who want us to return to past unethical practices that allowed children of the rich access stolen examinations at KCPE level,” said Matiang’i.
He added: “We will remain firm and determined to make the difference that will level the examination playground for all Kenyan children irrespective of family status, region or tribe.”
Critics of last year’s KCSE examination results say they did not reflect the true performance of the candidates and that they were hurriedly prepared.
But Matiang’i has stuck to his guns on the subject.
“Reforms of any kind attract different types of resistance,” he said.
The CS spoke during the commissioning of the 2017 Wings to Fly Programme by Equity Group held at Kasarani yesterday, where 1,700 pupils from needy backgrounds who sat their KCPE examination last year were given four year secondary school scholarships.
Also, 141 straight A students in 2016 KCSE examination joined an eight-month leadership programme with Equity Bank.
During the function, Equity Bank boss James Mwangi supported ongoing education reforms, saying they were inevitable.
“When you allow an exam not to reflect the true competence of the human resource capital then we are bound not to deliver the ideas that will solve the fundamental problems facing this country,” he said.