Address KCPE results fiasco before embarking on Form 1 selection

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

The Ministry of Education must focus fully on resolving the 2023, Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results discrepancies affecting hundreds of candidates before embarking on the Form One selection exercise.

Cleaning this mess that has put the ministry - especially the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) - in the spotlight of shame and ridicule from the public, will once again assure all candidates of fairness in the looming Form One selection process.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu flanked by a contingent of officers drawn from the ministry and Knec admitted before the parliamentary education committee that some candidates received erroneous results and promised to audit the discrepancies and submit a comprehensive report to Parliament in two weeks.

The Cabinet Secretary also promised to refund the charges incurred by the candidates and parents who received results that had errors.

On the other hand, Knec Chief Executive Officer David Njeng’ere admitted that at least 133 cases where candidates missed Kiswahili Insha scores had been identified and corrected.

Initially, 1,935 cases of missing scores were brought to public notice. In 334 of these cases, candidates were said to have been absent during the examination. What is the status of the remaining 1,468 cases after rectifying the first 133 cases?

60 days

It is embarrassing that the government can afford to make such a grave error at the most basic level of education. This casual manner of handling national examinations that cost taxpayers billions of shillings not only poses a question mark to our entire education system but also casts doubt on the integrity of national examination administration in the country.

Mr Njeng’ere further told the Julius Melly-led committee that the results candidates received are provisional and candidates have up to 60 days to seek any rectifications.

This begs the question, what was the urgency of releasing provisional results, yet they would have spent time to prepare adequately, and release correct final exam results? Will candidates put aside the results they received and wait for ‘their real ‘results after 60 days?

There is an urgent need to identify exactly who bungled the KCPE results and punishment meted out to them. Additionally, someone must take responsibility for the torture and trauma the candidates are suffering since they are not sure whether the scores, they received belong to them or will change when the final results are released.

It is, therefore, imperative for the Ministry of Education to iron out this mess and give the candidates their actual marks before subjecting them to a selection exercise that will see them join Form One next year. The ministry must ensure equity, equality, and fairness while posting the learners to various secondary schools.

Mr Jomo is a communication specialist

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