MPs accuse Knec of illegally collecting fees from candidates

Three MPs want the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) to immediately withdraw a circular demanding payment of up to S,000 from candidates seeking to correct their names or change subjects.

Ugenya MP David Ochieng, Emanuel Wangwe (Navokholo) and Johnston Sakaja (nominated) gave Knec 14 days to rescind its decision failure to which they will resort to “other drastic measures.”

“It is very disheartening that Knec is misreading the move to waive examination fees as promised by the government. They are introducing new fees which amounts to reintroduction of examination fees through the back door,” Mr Ochieng said.

In the June 10 circular to all heads of secondary schools and sub- county education officers, Knec said any amendment to a subject should be accompanied by a bank deposit slip of S,000.

For a candidate to make any amendment to their registration data other than the correction of subject, they should pay Sh500.

“All head teachers and sub-county education officers (for private candidates) are expected to ensure that all candidates carefully check the entry details and sign against their names as confirmation of correctness of data,” reads the circular signed by Knec chief executive officer, Dr Joseph Kivilu.

Dr Kivilu told school heads checking the validation of 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination registration data that no amendment will be effected without the payment.

Head teachers had up to Thursday to return entry printouts duly checked and signed by all candidates to the sub-county education offices, meaning that students who misspelt their names or changed subjects have paid the Sh500 and S,000 respectively.

The MPs said the fees were waived through a government policy that was intended to remove the burden from parents.

READ: Relief for parents as the Treasury releases Sh2bn for examinations

“To charge a student who left one name out or misspelt it will make examinations unaffordable to students set to sit exams,” Mr Ochieng said. He said examination fees has been one of the impediments to education.

“Before the government scrapped examination fees, students were either forced to repeat Class Seven or Form Three because they couldn’t afford to pay examinations fees.”

Mr Sakaja said Knec is a government institution and its policies must be in line with government policy.

“I appeal to the Education committee of the National Assembly to stamp its foot on this circular,” Mr Sakaja said.