Teachers unions are lobbying Parliament to recall the 2016 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results.
The unions accuse the Ministry of Education and the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) of setting up last year’s KCSE candidates for failure.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) and Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) officials appeared before a parliamentary committee seeking its help to rectify what they described as glaring errors made during the marking and grading of last year’s examination, which they argued led to mass failure.
They told the Education Committee of the National Assembly that Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i and Knec officials changed the examination processes to deliberately fail students and justify their fight against cheating, a move that condemned tens of thousands of the candidates to poor grades.
Knut Secretary General Wilson Sossion told the committee that unless the examination results are recalled for moderation-a mandatory process which he said was skipped-the candidates of 2016 would be disadvantaged and condemned for life.
“We are at a risk of forever disadvantaging 2016 KCSE candidates in the job market. The implications of the glaring anomalies, deliberately committed in marking the examination are dire, we seek the support of this House to rectify the mistake,” Sossion told the committee.
His Kuppet counterpart Akello Misori accused Knec of failing to standardise the examination and setting up a grading system that saw many candidates perform poorly.
“There is nothing to celebrate about 2016 results, we cannot be celebrating the mass failure by claiming that we stopped cheating, yet we know the processes we have used has led to condemnation of innocent candidates,” said Misori.
The unions said that in its efforts to curb cheating, Knec skipped crucial stages of the examination marking and grading process, an anomaly that saw raw marks, which had not been counter-checked released to candidates.
Sossion accused the examiners of employing the same grading system for all subjects, arguing that it was for this reason that girls performed better than the boys, as humanities and sciences were placed under the same grading system.
“This explains the many A-grades in Humanities and hardly any in English and sciences, that led to the poor performance among boys compared to girls as most girls’ schools do not take three sciences,” he argued.
Sossion argued that Matiang’i, in seeking to win applause from Kenyans by the timely release of the examination results, eroded the credibility of the results through the manner in which the marking and grading was done
“You cannot explain how marking was completed on December 26 and on December 28, the CS was releasing results. It only confirms that what was released were raw marks, that were not subjected to any counter-checking, hence the massive errors of computation,” said Sossion.
He said the teachers who marked the examination only saw the examination papers at the marking centres, granting them no liberty to examine the marking scheme that had been developed.
He accused Knec of employing a criterion system where marking is done with predetermined marks.