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Shock of 5,000 uncollected KCPE, KCSE certificates

 A sample of a KCSE certificate for learners who sat the 2002 examination. [File, Standard]

Some 5, 662 examination certificates are yet to be collected from Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) offices for the last 20 years.

Of these are 4, 760 academic certificates of learners who sat the primary and secondary school national between 2001 and 2020.

Others are certificates of some 902 candidates who sat Teacher Education examinations and still remain uncollected from the KNEC offices.

KNEC chief executive Dr David Njengere said that these candidates sat the national tests between 2001 and 2020 but returned their certificates to the Council for amendments to their academic papers.

After presenting their papers to KNEC and the changes were done, these academic papers have remained in the custody of the council for the past two decades.

Dr Njengere said the amendments include misspelt names, cases of schools that had presented inaccurate registration details for their candidates including wrong photographs (for KCSE examination), erroneous gender, and year of birth, among others.

The complete names of the candidates, index numbers and the year they sat the examinations have now been published on the KNEC website.

''The KNEC website has a list of uncollected certificates. Customers whose names are on the list should carry their faulty certificate to enable them to collect the new one,'' reads the announcement.

 KNEC chief executive Dr David Njengere. [George Njunge, Standard]

Dr Njengere said they are expected to follow up and confirm the status of their queries with KNEC especially those that have been lodged through the Query Information Management System (QMIS).

"Further, for security reasons, the clients are expected to surrender the certificate with errors to KNEC, with proof of identity. Such certificates are, therefore, not dispatched to schools," said Njengere.

In the published list, the names of some 1, 920 candidates who sat in KCPE schools between 2001 to 2020 are listed. A total of 2, 841 KCSE candidates are also yet to collect their amended certificates.

"Owing to this, KNEC has taken the initiative to sensitise clients who have not collected their recovered certificates," Dr Njengere said.

KCPE and KCSE certificates are a mandatory requirement by most higher learning institutions and potential employers.

This means that all these candidates either did not get fair opportunities for higher academic progression or were not shortlisted for competitive jobs.

The matter also raises questions on the mushrooming of fake academic papers as it emerged that some of those listed may have gotten competitive jobs which require the production of certified academic papers.

An analysis by The Standard reveals that most of the uncollected academic papers are for male candidates.

For the primary certificates, for instance, some 1,350 male candidates are yet to collect their papers compared to 570 females.

And for secondary more than 2000 certificates belong to male students with about 900 for females.

Broken down, most of the uncollected certificates for KCPE are for candidates who sat examinations in 2018, with some 435 papers held by KNEC.

Students who sat examinations in 2015 are next with some 298 certificates still held by KNEC while 251 papers are held for students who sat examinations in the year 2017. And 2016 there are some 241 certificates uncollected.

 Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) offices along Dennis Pritt Road, Nairobi. [Edward Kiplimo, Standard]

And for the KCSE exam, candidates who sat the tests in 2012 have the highest number of uncollected papers with some 602 held by KNEC.

Those who sat KCSE in 2011 have the second highest held papers at 360. The 2020 cohort is third with 314 held papers while in 2013 has some 282 uncollected certificates. Another 230 remain uncollected for those who sat examinations in the year 2018.

The huge number of uncollected certificates at KNEC presents another twist to the academic papers row.

Parents and students still claim that schools still continue to withhold academic papers over fees arrears.

A number of students have been denied access to meaningful employment without these requisite documents as schools continue to hold on to them.

In 2022, the Government directed all primary and secondary school heads to release students' certificates in their custody.

Former Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Education Dr Julius Jwan instructed all county directors of Education to ensure the directive is adhered to.

"The Ministry of Education has sent numerous reminders and circulars to schools through the field officers warning them against the introduction of extra levies, withholding KCPE and KCSE certificates and conducting illegal tuition during the weekend and school holidays," Jwan said.

But school heads continue to withhold academic papers.

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