Examinations body should not extort money from parents

News that MPs have given the Kenya National Examinations Council a two-week ultimatum to withdraw a directive requiring school heads to charge candidates who want to change subjects or amend registration detail has come at the right time.

The circular dated July 10, 2015 to charge Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination candidates Sh500 for amending details and Sh3,000 for changing subjects is regrettable.

It amounts to reintroducing examination registration fees that the government scrapped.

It also amounts to extorting from parents who let a sigh of relief following the government’s takeover of registration fees.

As the MPs rightly noted, students, like every other person, are bound to make mistakes and they should not be punished for that.

Furthermore, registration is done online by the school heads and it won’t cost a fortune just to press a button and make the changes for an examination scheduled to be done early in November.

If the directive is not withdrawn, most parents might opt to leave the details as they are, which will have a long-term effect on the candidates’ official documents.

The government, whose intention was to make education affordable, must move with speed before it is too late.

The examinations council secretary must also be made to explain what he intended to use the money for.

This has not been the case before and parents, as well as teachers, are asking what has changed to warrant such levies.

It also comes in the wake of the examinations council upgrading its systems.