Candidates to appeal cancelled exam results after Parliament passes Bill

KCPE Pupils at St.George's Primary School in the exam hall
File image of KCPE Pupils at St.George's Primary School in the exam hall

Candidates whose results were cancelled by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) can now appeal the decision after the National Assembly adopted a Bill establishing Examinations Appeals Tribunal.

The MPs passed the Kenya National Examinations (Amendments) Bill, 2016 and is now just awaiting Presidential assent to become law.

However, MPs want to have powers to force KNEC to inform them before cancelling the exams of candidates as it was contained in the initial Bill that failed to sail through the House.

If President Uhuru Kenyatta signs the Bill into law, KNEC officials found guilty of engaging in examination irregularities or malpractice and previously enjoyed immunity from prosecutions will now face the law as the immunity has also been lifted.

According to the Bill sponsored by Sabatia MP, Alfred Agoi, those found guilty will face a fine of Ksh 5 million or a sentence of five years or both.

“A member, officer, agent or staff of the council whose omission or commission leads to an examination irregularity commits and examination offence and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding Ksh 5 million,” reads the Bill.

“Where the council has a reason to believe that there is an examination irregularity or malpractice, the council shall conduct investigation and undertakes necessary disciplinary proceedings,” further reads the Bill.

The Examinations Appeals Tribunal shall consist of a chairperson appointed by the Education Cabinet Secretary and shall consist of not less than four or more than six other members who shall be appointed by the Cabinet Secretary.

Other members of the Tribunal shall be a representative from Kenya Curriculum Development Council (KCDC), a representative from Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and a quality assurance officer from a public university.

KNEC members are automatically not qualified to be members of the Tribunal.

“There shall be an assessor to the Appeals Tribunal who shall be an advocate of not less than five years standing appointed by the Tribunal with the approval of the Cabinet Secretary and who shall attend the proceedings of the tribunal and advise it on questions of law,” reads the Bill.

The MPs also struck out sections of the Bill that would have allowed KNEC officials not to announce the cancellation of results unless the tribunal has been given the opportunity to listen to the affected students and make a determination.

Mr Agoi had proposed that the council informs students in writing the form of exam irregularity they have committed and the case has to be determined by the Tribunal.

Mr Agoi, however, said although he did not get what he wanted fully, he is at least happy that now there is a tribunal and KNEC officials found guilty can be charged and fines.

“For now I will let the bill pass because I have 30 percent the rest 70 percent I will do an amendment later. It is a good start,” Mr Agoi said.

The MP said the Constitution gives every Kenyan a right for fair hearing before any determination is made.

“I wanted to make the appeal cheaper to the parents and affected students but that has now been struck off.”

The Sabatia Legislator urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to assent to the Bill saying it is long overdue.

“From the start KNEC was against this bill and I think they went behind the education committee to make the amendments.”

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Story By Vincent Afande
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