Blow to 2023 KCPE candidates as court strikes out exam re-mark cases

 

KCSE exam papers at an examination center in Iten, Elgeyo Marakwet County. [Christopher Kipsang, Standard]

The High Court has dashed hopes of last year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates to have their answer sheets re-marked and re-tabulated.

Justice Lawrence Mugambi struck out a case filed against Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) and education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu.

The case had been filed by Moi Primary School Kabarak- Nakuru parents.

 The judge was of the view that although the case revolved around ‘massive errors in the examination results,’ the parents and their kids failed to first challenge the results before Knec as required by the law.

He said that the Kenya National Examination Council Act, the law governing examinations in the country requires that a candidate must first seek a review of the results before the council before moving to any other body.

If aggrieved, the judge said that a student has a right to move to the National Examinations Appeals Tribunal.

“The upshot therefore is that the preliminary objection succeeds. This Petition is thus struck out. I make no orders as to costs. The ruling affects Mutatis mutandis,” ruled Justice Mugambi.

 In the case, Moses Mbego sued the examinations body alongside the Education Cabinet Secretary arguing that it was shocking that his son was given lower marks than his usual exemplary performance.

Separately, parents who had Class Eight candidates in Kitengela International School and Set Greenhill Academy Mixed Day and Boarding and Junior School also moved to court citing massive irregularities.

Mbego’s lawyer Danstan Omari said that his grievance was that the released results were not a reflection of his son's academic capability.

Omari stated that the examination body was allegedly killing the future of the candidates who are now lamenting that they did not deserve the marks that were awarded by examiners.

“It appears that the second respondent (Knec) is unfortunately on a firm resolve to damage the future of the Kenyan children,” said Omari.

 According to Omari, the Nakuru-based institution has in the last three years been at the top countrywide.

 He asserted that it was strange that the institution’s candidates' marks slipped downwards by more than 100 marks.

He said that parents were sure that their kids had been well prepared and had completed the curriculum in time in readiness for their high school entry exam.

According to Omari, there is no plausible explanation for how Mbego's son’s marks were lower than his past academic performance.

In his supporting affidavit, Mbego said that the marking exercise was rushed adding that the marks released had serious anomalies.

“I am dissatisfied with the way my child’s papers were marked in the just released KCPE. I pray that this court takes judicial notice of the uproar by the teachers, students, and members of the general public after the results of the exam were announced as were alleged serious anomalies in the marking of the examinations,” said Mbego.

Earlier, in the case filed by Kitengela International parents, the court heard that the majority of its students scored 400 marks and above in the previous exams.

However, the national exams indicated that its students managed 358 marks and below.

 Kitengela had written to Knec, lamenting that the results were not a true reflection of what its students had been scoring.

In court, Omari said that candidates are now disturbed owing to the low marks that the examiners scored him.

He argued that it is in public knowledge that the examination exercise was marred by a lot of irregularities.

Omari asked the court to stop the form one placement exercise until the case is settled.

“It is a matter of local notoriety that there were widespread irregularities in the 2023 KCPE exams results and thus the integrity of the marking process has been called to question and the prayer to this court is for this honorable court to take judicial notice of the uproar by the teachers, students and members of the general public after the results of the exam were announced as there were alleged serious anomalies in the marking of the examinations,” argued Omari.

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