Parents and school heads have opposed a new directive stipulated by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) whereby all schools presenting candidates for the 2021 KCPE and KCSE exams must have a minimum of 40 candidates in order to qualify as exam centers.
School heads have raised issues regarding the directive affirming that they are worried about losing candidates should parents realize that their schools may not meet the threshold.
Parents also raised concerns that the move would destabilize students who would have to adapt to a new environment.
Their sentiments were shared by private schools which cited malice from the KNEC directive.
Kenya Private Schools Association (KPSA) chief executive Peter Ndoro stated that the directive was made without consulting key education stakeholders.
“This is not only an abuse to the doctrine of stakeholder participation as provided for in our constitution but an attack on private schools aimed at disrupting progress made in expanding access to the provision of quality education in our country.
“If I’m a private school investor and I’m taking my student to another school probably those children will pull others to that school meaning that my business will be destabilized which is not right. KNEC should revoke that directive,” Ndoro stated.
The directive was issued by KNEC acting chief executive Mercy Karogo in a circular sent to all headteachers of primary schools and principals of secondary schools on Friday, June 11.
She directed that all schools, both private and public, who didn’t meet the threshold would have to be hosted by another centre.
“The host school should be located within the sub county where the hosted schools are. Both the host school and the hosted school(s) should be served from one distribution point (container),” read part of the notice.
The news comes as Karogo had noted that KNEC was in a rush to conuct two national examinations (2021 KCPE and KCSE exams) in March 2022 before the normal school calendar resumes in 2023.
She urged all school heads to cooperate with the agency in order to ensure a smooth process in preparing candidates for the exams.