Governors call for audit of 2023 KCPE exam results

Erick Mutai

 Dr Erick Mutai (right), chairman of the Council of Governors' education committee (right) and Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers national deputy treasurer during the union's Annual General Meeting in Kericho on November 25, 2023.

Photo credit: Vitalis Kimutai | Nation Media Group

The Council of Governors (COG) wants the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) to fix the mess that was witnessed in the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results, which led to confusion in the award of marks to candidates, to avoid a recurrence.

Dr Erick Mutai, the COG chairman of the education committee and Kericho governor, said Knec should move fast and restore stakeholders' confidence in the country's examination system.

"It is a matter of great concern that the commission has presided over a system where candidates were awarded marks for subjects they did not sit, others were not awarded marks for what they did, while questions have been raised about the marks awarded in some schools," Dr Mutai said.

Dr Mutai said, "There is a need for the commission to audit the systems and seek to restore integrity at a time when the marking of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams is expected to begin in a few days".

He said stakeholders in the education system are keenly following the development and the solutions the commission will offer to affected candidates.

Speaking during the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Kericho branch Annual General Meeting on Saturday. 

The event was attended by the union's National Treasurer Mwethi Njenga, his assistant Ronald Tonui, branch executive secretaries - Ms Mary Rotich (Kericho), Mr Paul Kimetto (Bomet) and Mr Charles Ngeno (Narok) among others, Dr Mutai questioned the haste with which KNEC went about releasing the 2023 KCPE exam results.

Mr Njenga and Mr Tonui said Knec was riddled with administrative challenges that needed to be addressed as teachers, parents and other stakeholders were worried.

“Questions have been raised as to why the commission was in a hurry to release the results without looking into the existing discrepancies that have raised questions about the integrity of the whole system," Mr Tonui said.

He said: "From the alleged leakage of examinations to the failure to award marks or awarding marks for a paper one has never sat and the perennial delay in payment of allowances due to examiners, invigilators, supervisors and security officers among others who have been involved in the conduct of KCPE and KCSE is a clear indication that there is need to review the commission's systems."

Dr David Njengere, the Knec chief executive officer, has admitted that there were errors in the examination results affecting some of the 1,406,577 candidates, but that these have since been addressed by the commission.

"KNEC has reviewed all the appeals received and found that there were 133 candidates affected. These cases have all been addressed and their results have been updated accordingly," said Dr Njengere.

A total of 8,523 candidates scored 400 marks and above in the KCPE results, which were the last to be conducted under the 8-4-4 education system being phased out by the government.

According to Knec, 352,782 candidates scored between 300 and 399 marks and another 658,278 scored between 200 and 299 marks in the exams.

There was a delay in the relaying of results through the commission's SMS code 40054, with some candidates having to wait more than two days for feedback from the system, causing anxiety among those affected.

Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu has announced that the Form One placement will take two weeks and that candidates will receive the results of the secondary schools they will be attending before Christmas.

The move would allow parents to prepare for Form One admissions early next year, unlike in the past when they were given very little time to pay school fees and purchase items such as textbooks and uniforms.