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Confusion in KCSE marking as examiners demand better terms

Tuesday December 3 2019

Knec CEO Mercy Karogo

Mercy Karogo, CEO of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), at Nairobi Primary School on July 31, 2019 during the 2019 Nairobi County Dialogue on Education Quality. PHOTO | KANYIRI WAHITO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

OUMA WANZALA
By OUMA WANZALA
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Marking of this year's KCSE business studies paper has been thrown into confusion for the second day running as examiners have declined to participate over poor working conditions.

The exercise began on Saturday at Machakos School but the tutors are said to be unhappy with the pay of Sh46 per script against the Sh68 they wanted.

In addition, some of the examiners numbering more than 700 said they had been forced to sleep on the floor.

RESOLVED

On Tuesday, the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) met the examiners and agreed to increase the pay to Sh52 per but they still appeared reluctant.

The council also shelved its plan to kick them out, opting instead to allow dialogue. On Monday evening, centre managers asked the 700 examiners to prepare to leave if they were unhappy.

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Knec Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo said on Tuesday that the issue had been resolved.

“We have talked and resolved the issue that had paralysed the exercise since Monday,” said Dr Karogo.

Akelo Misori, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Secretary-General, regretted the bad treatment by Knec, saying the examiners deserved better.

Mr Misori also noted that teachers marking other papers were being paid well.

CONSEQUENCE

The exercise started on Saturday with a total 26,597 teachers at 20 stations in Nairobi and its environs.

It is expected to be completed by mid-December, with the examiners working long hours to ensure this.

However, with the latest development at Machakos, examiners are likely to be forced to work extra hard.

MONITORING

During marking, examiners are normally put in pools of seven with a team leader.

For every 10 scripts they mark, the team leader has to go through two, which are picked randomly, to check if they have been marked well.

The marking error is -2/+ 2 and if an examiner goes beyond it he is forced to remark the script.

Team leaders work under assistant examiners who also go through the answer sheets to ensure they are marked well.

ERRORS

Scripts with errors are put together and a council member checks the corrections before marks are recorded.

Under the guidelines, examiners are not allowed to carry away answer scripts, marking schemes and any other materials from marking rooms or centres.

They are prohibited from bringing unauthorised materials.

All marking is done in specified rooms with authority to mark extra scripts given by the chief examiner when an examiner or team has satisfactorily cleared script allocation.