School heads reject KCPE supervisor role

An armed police officer keeps vigil as primary
An armed police officer keeps vigil as primary school heads arrive for their annual conference at Sheikh Zayed Hall in Mombasa on August 3, 2015. PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP. 

Primary school heads have rejected a new rule that requires them to administer national exams, putting latest efforts to curb cheating at stake.

Under the new measures, the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has sought to make the them “directly accountable, responsible and answerable” for any examination malpractices that take place in their schools.

The head teachers will be expected to collect question papers from distribution centres and return answer scripts to the same venues at the end of every examination day.

The head teachers attending a national forum in Mombasa however disrupted a presentation by Knec deputy director Ibrahim Mohamud as he tried to introduce the revised Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination regulations.

“He has touched a live wire,” Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) deputy treasurer Kennnedy Kyeva said as heckling teachers forced the Knec official to cut short his presentation and walk out of the venue.

Killing’ us indirectly

“We will not allow this. It is like ‘killing’ us indirectly. Taking papers to exam rooms has always been the work of supervisors with the help of police. In case something happens to head teachers we will be jailed straight away,” he added.

Another head teacher Elias Karanja accused Knec of trying to transfer its responsibility to manage examinations by ‘fixing’ the head teachers.
Mr David Ikunza, a head teacher said being the source of exams, Knec, should take full responsibility for its security and not head teachers.

“It is not that we do not want to administer exams but let Knec allow us to remain organisers of our centres and managers of our schools without expecting us to take responsibility for everything,” Mr Ikunza said.

A head teacher from Murang’a County Ms Alice Mwangi opposed the new rule saying that teachers cannot be expected to take over the roles of supervisors.

“What we are rejecting is the rule that we collect the examination papers from collection centre then transport them to school and administer them. This is the work of supervisors. What will they do if we take up their job?” she asked.