A former student has moved to the court of appeal to battle the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) which he claims awarded him low grades and denied him the chance to study at the university.
Suing through a guardian Yusuf Amin Abdulhakim, has demanded his last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination papers remarked after rejecting grade D+ saying he was a bright student and did not deserve such grade.
The student who sat the examination at Mvindeni secondary school in Kwale county has sued through Ms Amina Abdi Mohammed as guardian and "next friend" after the case was dismissed by high court judge justice Eric Ogola on June 6 this year.
In the notice of appeal lodged in court on June 14 this year, the petitioner has named the attorney general, Mvindeni head teacher, Kwale county director of education, Knec and education cabinet secretary as first, second, third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively.
Knec awarded C- grade in 2016 and D+ last year promoting him to seek redress. He is being represented by Mombasa lawyer Ms Lucy Momanyi.
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In the court papers, the petitioner alleges that he is a very bright student and after repeating the 2016 examinations he has more than doubled his efforts and he was expecting not less than a B+ grade in his 2017 examination results. The petitioner also seeks to be supplied with his marked 2017 exam paper
But Justice Ogola dismissed the petition with costs saying the Knec was a statutory body mandated with setting and marking exams who integrity, credibility and reliability must be guaranteed and safeguarded at all times.
“The kind of request by the petitioner, if allowed, will open the national exam body to ridicule, scandal and infamy, with every student feeling dissatisfied with their results applying for remarking. That would be the end of examinations and its integrity as hitherto known in Kenya,” argued justice Ogola.
He maintained that the temptation to open up the exam bank however inviting it may seem, must be resisted.
“This is not to say that where a constitutional right is threatened the respondent will be shielded. No. What I am saying is that a violation of constitutional right which would demand the opening of exam bank to verify results must in all circumstances be valid, clear and self-evident,” he noted.
The judge noted that the students had no other reason except stating that he was bright and felt that he was given lower marks than what he deserved.
“No other reason has been provided. In my view, this is not sufficient reason to cause the re-opening of the exam bank,” he said.
The judge agreed with the Knec that there was no evidence of a written request to the exam body within a 30 days after the release of last year’s examinations as claimed by the petitioner.
The judge dismissed the case with cost saying that it did not meet the threshold for constitutional petition and was an abuse of the process of the court.
The petitioner had claimed he had asked Knec through an email written in January this year to remark his papers but to no avail and averred that it was a matter of notoriety that there was a mass failure in last year’s exams which he attributed to rushed marking and releasing of results. The student also argued he had the right to access information.
But in response Knec chief executive officer Ms Mercy Karogo denied receiving any written request for remarking of his examinations and termed the petition as either immature or incompetent.
Ms Karogo also referred to rule number 27 (2) and 3 which provides that a written request for review of the results shall be lodged to the council by the candidate within 30 days from the release of the exam results. She explained the request could be approved wholly, in part or rejected altogether.