The first group of students who benefited from subsidised secondary school education will know their results Wednesday as the government proposes to double the level of subsidy.
The 300,000 students who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam last year were the first to enjoy subsidised tuition which was started in 2008 at the rate of Sh10,265 per student.
The Ministry of Education has since started due process to have the amount doubled to Sh20,000 per student with 1.7 million learners having benefited last year, bringing the subsidy level to Sh17.4 billion.
“It has become important for us to revise this amount since the cost of living has increased considerably over the past four years,” said Education secretary George Godia.
The proposal is, however, subject to stakeholder input and parliamentary approval before it can be disbursed to the over 7,000 secondary institutions in the country. Upon Education minister Sam Ongeri’s release of the results at Mitihani House in Nairobi, candidates will access results by sending a short text message to 5052 or via the ministry’s website.
Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) boss Paul Wasanga said high capacity servers had been installed to prevent jamming, which affected the system in the past as anxious candidates logged onto the address at once. “The problem is that once results are released, candidates send in the same text message repeatedly eventually jamming the system,” he said, advising candidates to also make use of the website.
The number of cheating cases is also expected to feature during the release of the results. Our sister paper The Daily Nation reported on Monday that Sh1.3 million was exchanged via 120 mobile phones used by rogue teachers, students, and officers in attempts to access exam papers.
The confidential report by Knec implicated five teachers with one of them supposedly receiving Sh800,000 from students on the promise that he would furnish them with examination material beforehand.
Also caught up in the web were students from Kenyatta University who sent text messages containing examination information to candidates for as little as Sh500.
Mr Wasanga said that candidates had developed ingenious ways of cheating. “School administrators use teachers hired by the Board of Governors to spearhead these bad practices because disciplinary action that can be taken against such teachers is limited,” he said. Last year the council threatened to cancel results and ban implicated students for two years before giving them a chance to re-sit the examinations. The ban was later lifted.