By Sam Otieno
This year’s KCSE candidates will be registered online on the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) website, according to new guidelines set out by the examination council.
Knec has embarked on a project to register all KCSE candidates electronically to make the process efficient and accountable.
According to the new guidelines, all secondary schools entering candidates for the 2010 exams will be required to use the method as a backup for the old manual one.
"Candidates’ registration using this method shall be carried out using the Internet platform to input their details," said Knec Secretary and Chief Executive Officer Paul Wasanga.
He gave the directions in a circular dated February 15 to all heads of secondary schools registering candidates or the 2010 KCSE examination.
"Schools without Internet connectivity can access this facility from cyber cafÈs or Government institutions with Internet connectivity," said Wasanga.
The circular is copied to all Provincial Directors of Education, District Education Officers, Municipal Education Officers, PS Ministry of Education, Education Secretary and Director, Ministry of Education.
Alongside the circular is a detailed illustrated user manual that details step-by-step procedure of the online registration.
According to Wasanga, the new move is aimed at improving the entire KCSE examination registration process.
"The KCSE candidates’ registration process will be handled this way in future," said Wasanga.
The system will bring to an end the era of unregistered candidates getting to find out on the first day of the examination. Candidates will now be able to confirm if they are registered through the Knec website.
Once the project has been implemented fully, cases of school managers disappearing with students’ examination fees will be a thing of the past since candidates and their parents and guardians will be able to confirm if they are registered.
The new method is likely to be effective when the Government finalises the rolling out of the fibre optic cable countrywide.
To access the registration pages, school authorities will be required to connect to the Internet then go to the Knec registration portal www.knec-registration.ac.ke and download the 2010 KCSE candidates registration application form.
They will input the candidates’ details in the registration application form in soft copy.
According to Wasanga, candidates or schools that find the process difficult should contact the council through ordinary e-mail.
The online registration will be used to enter the candidates’ details as per Knec regulations and later uploaded to the Knec data through the registration website.
Centres will be given usernames and passwords to upload the file so that every centre will only be able to register its own students only.
Once logged in, the centres can also edit candidates’ details that are already registered as well as register additional ones.
Any computer that is installed with Windows operating system, Microsoft office and Internet connection can be able to perform the simple function.
A student will be required to give his/her biodata, including their birth certificate number.
They are required to state whether they are sitting the examination for the first time, citizenship, gender and year of birth.
Schools can also register their new candidates online. However, Internet connection must be available throughout the exercise, hence may not be proffered where Internet cost is billed based on time.
The schools can, however, use the method when registering a few candidates after the initial submission such as late registration.
Knec has advised schools to download the registration application, fill in their candidates’ details and later connect to the Internet to upload.
Students will also be required to indicate any form of disability such as blind, low vision, deaf and physical handicap.
Candidates sitting the examination for the first time will be required to fill English, Kiswahili and Mathematics as compulsory subjects.
A maximum of nine subjects can be selected according to the subject groupings and depending on the number of attempts.
In the recent past, Knec has been trying to improve security of examinations. Last year, the council started administering the examinations only in the mornings.