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No student should be left out of national exams

By The Standard | Published Wed, February 21st 2018 at 00:00, Updated February 20th 2018 at 23:39 GMT +3

As the February 28, deadline for registration of students for this year’s national examinations approaches, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) estimates that 300,000 students are likely to be left out. Further, the examinations council has ruled out the possibility of an extension to accommodate those who may be late registering.

It would be unfair to force students to miss their national examinations for reasons beyond their control. Prior to the government undertaking to pay examination fees a couple of years back, some head teachers were singled out for deliberately squandering money paid for exams. That is not the case today, hence there could be a plausible excuse for the delay in registration. Efforts should be made to ensure that no student spends longer than is necessary at any stage of learning because of administrative lapses.

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Head teachers have complained of poor or slow internet connectivity and the inability to access the KNEC website. Indeed, this happens when the system is clogged. Moreover, two forms of filings are being undertaken at the same time, and this tends to slow down the process. These processes are the National Education Management Information System that requires data about students be submitted to KNEC, and the registration for national exams.

It should be appreciated by the examinations council that connectivity is not uniform across the country and many areas are disadvantaged. In the end, this may necessitate the extension of the deadline. However, streamlining the online registration exercise to make it easy to access the website is preferable.