Ministry dismisses poison gas claims in KCSE exams
He said on Friday last week when students sat for the Chemistry paper, he visited various schools and the issue was not raised. “The teachers have been using these chemicals throughout the examination period in the laboratories. No complaints have come up. We wonder who is spreading these rumours,” Kipsang said. Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Kisumu County Chapter yesterday sought an explanation from the Ministry of Education with regards to the use of xylene in this year’s Chemistry exams. While addressing the press in Kisumu, the union's county executive secretary, Zablon Awange, claimed that a student was rushed to a local hospital where she was treated after she allegedly got burnt when the gas exploded in her face. “The supervisors, invigilators and other students who were in that Chemistry lab inhaled the gas for three hours. I would recommend that they go for a medical check-up because the gas is harmful to the lungs,” Mr Awange said.
RISK ALLOWANCEHe added that the union had received reports from a number of schools where the xylene gas had allegedly affected students and invigilators. “We are demanding that ministry officials look for a way of compensating the affected candidates. Also, all those who were involved in the administering of the Chemistry practical exams should be compensated,” he said. Awange said in their next Collective Bargaining Agreement, teachers would press for a risk allowance. “If doctors and other medical practitioners are being given a risk allowance, why are we being denied?” he asked.
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