By Kamadi Amata
The Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) has stated that the 2022 Form 4 exams did not leak, refuting allegations and clarifying that parents were deceived into paying large sums of money for counterfeit papers.
Knec CEO David Njeng’ere addressed the National Assembly Education committee, led by Tinderet MP Julius Melly, in Mombasa. Njeng’ere explained that claims of exam papers being sold were often made by fraudsters, emphasizing that social media sites advertising such papers were not operated by Knec officers.
During the committee’s probe into cheating allegations in the 2022 KCSE, Njeng’ere informed the committee that national examination papers are accessed by a limited number of individuals once they are prepared. He challenged the committee to investigate these social media sites, collect the papers, and compare them with the actual papers in November.
Regarding claims that some examination center managers (school principals) had prior knowledge of practicals, Njeng’ere acknowledged that the council sends advance instructions to schools. However, these instructions only pertain to preparations of solutions, reagents, or instruments and do not contain the questions given to candidates. He acknowledged that some principals share the instructions, leading to misunderstandings.
Njeng’ere defended the council against accusations of weaponizing the examination and explained that the deployment of heavy security around examination areas was part of the multi-agency approach introduced in the 2016 reforms to restore the credibility of national examinations.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and PS Belio Kipsang informed the committee that the ministry had proposed amendments to the Knec Act of 2012 to incorporate the 2016 reforms, as many of the changes introduced by the reforms are not yet legally established.
Marakwet West MP Timothy Kipchumba suggested establishing a Kenya National Examination Regulatory Authority to provide oversight for Knec. However, Njeng’ere defended the council, stating that they have operated within the bounds of the law and have not exceeded their given powers.
Njeng’ere highlighted budgetary constraints faced by the council and urged the MPs to advocate for increased funding. He explained that since the government took over examination fees from learners in 2016, the grant received by Knec has remained relatively the same despite a significant increase in the candidate population.
The committee expressed their intention to recommend improved funding for Knec to enhance the administration of national exams, ensure timely payment of examiners, upgrade facilities, and enhance marking centers.