The Kenya National Examinations Council is concerned about the low number of candidates registering for this year’s tests.
The Standard has established that with only one week to the end of the registration period, only 1.2 million candidates had been listed to sit the two national examinations.
Last year, 1.5 million candidates registered for the two examinations with 993,718 sitting the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and 611,952 writing the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam.
Of all the candidates, 315,630 were male while 296,322 were female, representing 51.58 er cent and 48.42 per cent of the total candidature respectively.
This represented an increase of 37,827 candidates (6.59 per cent) from the previous year.
This year, only 716,370 candidates have so far registered to sit KCPE and 500,686 are listed for KCSE.
Knec projects that about 300,000 candidates have yet to be registered by schools administrators by the deadline of February 28.
The Knec acting chief executive officer, Mercy Karogo, in a text message, said the deadline would not be extended.
“We are running under tight schedule and we will not extend the deadline as has always been the plea each year. Schools and candidates must strive to beat the deadline to enable us to process their data in time,” said Ms Karogo.
Primary and secondary school heads yesterday blamed the ongoing data requirements by the Ministry of Education for the slow pace of registration.
“We have been running two serious and heavy exercises. Uploading of Nemis (National Education Management Information System) data and the examination registration have been running parallel and all these are online process that are being undertaken by the same people,” said Kahi Indimuli, the chairman of the secondary school heads association.
He said the Nemis data requirement deadline is February 20.
“Most schools thought it wise that the Nemis deadline is fast approaching and they needed to clear that first. In any case, they would have another eight day to register for the examinations,” said Mr Indimuli.
He, however, urged Knec to extend the deadline to enable the registration process to proceed smoothly.
“We are now foreseeing a situation where schools and candidates will jam the Knec portal from tomorrow to beat the deadline in the event the Nemis deadline remains February 20,” said Indimuli.
Sources at Knec said postponing the registration would interfere with the planning process of administering the test.
And parents countrywide are required to present their children's birth certificates to schools by today for the ministry of Education registration, a process that is to see all learners allocated unique learner identifiers.
Parents were instructed to apply for birth certificates through school principals and head teachers.
The Kenya Union of Post Education Teachers (Kuppet) wants the Ministry of Education to extend the deadline for parents and student to acquire birth certificates. It argued that any policy shift should have sufficient time for implementation.
“The regulation given by the ministry is unrealistic. Huduma Centres where such documents are acquired are now overstretched,” said Kuppet Secretary General Akelo Misori.
Parents have flooded Registrar of Persons offices across the country for the past one week to apply for birth certificates for their children to beat the deadline.
At the same time, the chairman of the Kenya National Parents Association, Nicholas Maiyo, said parents in Garissa, Marsabit, Wajir, and Mandera would be inconvenienced if the deadline was not extended.