Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary General Akelo Misori has said the integrity of national examinations can only be guaranteed if the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) enhances examiners' pay.
Misori said better pay will boost the examiner's morale and ensure they maintain professionalism.
He attributed Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam malpractices to deplorable working conditions teachers are exposed to.
Speaking during the union’s executive board meeting in Nairobi, the Kuppet secretary-general asked Knec to increase the out-of-pocket allowance for examiners from Sh150 to Sh500 per day.
"The improved terms of service and engagement especially on how payment of examiners per script is to motivate them for the two and half weeks they undertake the exercise," he said.
He accused Knec of exposing teachers to harsh working conditions during the administration of national examinations.
"Kenya National Examination Council has resorted to very punitive measures to suspend the 600 examiners of CRE Paper 1. This is uncalled for and we ask for the council to reconsider this position," said Misori.
According to the Education committee report that investigated last year's examination malpractice, poor pay of teachers was cited for the vice.
''The committee noted that with regard to the integrity of markers, marking schemes, award of marks and the moderation process, the activities at the marking centres were shrouded in secrecy. The examiners were not paid in a timely manner,'' the report reads in part.
At the same time Kuppet threatened to call for industrial action should the government fail to employ intern teachers whose contracts expired.
"How do you engage casual labourers to undertake a fundamental segment of the economy? This is unfair labour practice. Parliament must allocate sufficient funds to engage these teachers on permanent and pensionable terms to guarantee quality of education and professionalism," said Misori.