Thursday, January 31, 2013

Mombasa school sues over KCPE results

Parents of Thuguma Primary School in Nyeri County protest yesterday over the school’s poor performance in last year’s KCPE exams. A primary school in Mombasa has asked a court to order the national examinations council to make available written scripts of  KCPE papers that were withheld

Parents of Thuguma Primary School in Nyeri County protest on Wednesday over the school’s poor performance in last year’s KCPE exams. A primary school in Mombasa has asked a court to order the national examinations council to make available written scripts of KCPE papers that were withheld. File/Photo  NATION

By NATION TEAM [email protected]

A primary school in Mombasa has asked a court to order the national examinations council to make available written scripts of KCPE papers that were withheld.

Mwingo Academy says that alternatively, the papers should be remarked and the candidates graded afresh.

The results of 47 out of 54 candidates in the school were withheld on allegations of cheating.

The school also wants the marking or remarking done by people other than those who “illegally cancelled the results”.

Lawyer Paul Buti for the school told a Mombasa court it was the second time the Kenya National Examinations Council and Ministry of Education were withholding results from the school.

The school says the candidates, whose results were cancelled, were innocent. Lady Justice Maureen Odero fixed the hearing for February 11.

A total of 718 candidates cheated in the exam countrywide last year, a big drop from the 7,967 whose results were cancelled in 2011.

When he released the results on Monday, Education minister Mutula Kilonzo said the decline was mainly due to a new law that severely punishes cheats.

Mombasa County had the largest number of cheats (109), followed by Nairobi (88), West Pokot (49), Kajiado (45), Samburu (19) and Kiambu (18).

Mombasa county’s ranking plunged from position 15 to 35 among the 47 counties in the 2012 examination.

Municipal education officer Francis Tsuma blamed cheating, unsupervised teachers and a shortage of education officers for the slump.

He also blamed the creation of three management functions between him, the new Teachers Service Commission county director of education and the county director of education.

He said this had caused confusion over who does what. But Mombasa county director of education Ibrahim Rugut denied this was a cause of poor performance.

“TSC is in charge of teacher’s management. Quality assurance still remains the responsibility of the ministry,” he said.

Acting Mombasa Deputy county director of education Lawrence Kaburu said they were yet to establish the cause of the decline in performance.

In Kwale County’s Word of Life Primary School in Ukunda, headmistress Esther Wamboi Karanja, said they put up a good performance, but the ministry failed to recognise them.

The school secured a mean score of 371 while the ministry of Education ranked three other schools; St Mercy Primary School, Kwale Methodist Academy and St Joseph Catholic School, as the best performers in the county with a mean score of 347 each.

At Kwale’s Ningawa Primary School, only one of 23 candidates received their English paper results. County director of education Juma Mwatengar said: “We are yet to confirm what exactly happened.”

A shocked headteacher, Ms Tamasha Nyawa, said: “If any irregularities occurred, I am not aware. I handed over the school to a pair of invigilators and their supervisor and was in class when the English papers were removed from a sealed envelope.”

In Elgeyo Marakwet, 14 candidates had their results cancelled for colluding in the examination room.

By Phillip Muyanga, Amina Kibirige, Rebecca Okwany and Philemon Suter

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