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KNEC given 14 days to withdraw KES 3500 fine imposed on candidates

30 July 2015, 10:07 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi – Three MPs have given the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) a 14-day notice to withdraw KES 3,500 penalty for registered candidates seeking to make corrections on their names or change a subject.

The legislators; Emmanuel Wangwe (Navakholo), David Ochieng (Ugenya) and Johnston Sakaja warned the KNEC boss Joseph Kivilu that he risks unspecified action if he fails to withdraw the charges immediately.

The MPs reiterated that the government committed to pay registration fees for candidates both in public primary and secondary schools sitting national examinations this year as a reprieve to parents and avoid cases of students being forced to repeat classes.

The contentious KNEC circular requires head teachers to charge candidates KES 500 for making any correction on their names including a minor misspelling while those changing a subject are required to pay KES 3 000 fine.

“All corrections must be indicated in red ink and in capital letters (in case of names) on the entry report printout. No amendment will be effected without the payment of the required fees,” reads part of the KNEC circular.      

Read Also: Headteacher threatens students, teachers with panga

Sakaja faulted the circular saying it intends to reintroduce the examination fee charges through the backdoor and cautioned KNEC officials against contravening government policies that aim at making education universally accessible to all Kenyan children.

“KNEC is clearly reading from its own script by introducing new fees and it should remain in line with the government’s policies. The fees are unacceptable and we have given it 14 days to withdraw the circular or we take action,” warned Sakaja.

He asked the KNUT and KUPPET, parents unions and other education stakeholders to reject the circular for the benefit of Kenyan students particularly those from poor families whose parents are unable to pay the penalties.

Wangwe said, “The registration of national examinations for candidates is electronic and prone to mistakes therefore KNEC should not penalize any child.”

Ochieng termed KNEC’s decision to fine candidates as illegal, done in ill motive and warned that its implementation would be an impediment to the government’s effort in ensuring that education is totally free for acquisition by every child.

The MPs were speaking in a press conference at Parliament Buildings.

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