Knec on the spot in exam results remarking dispute

Wednesday March 21 2018

KCSE examination

Candidates sit KCSE exam paper in 2017. A candidate in last year’s KCSE examination has told a court that the examinations council has no legal basis to deny him a re-mark of his test papers. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By PHILIP MUYANGA
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A candidate in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination has told a court that the examinations council has no legal basis to deny him a re-mark of his test papers.

The former student of a school in Kwale County, who got a mean grade of D+, also wants to be supplied with his marked examination papers.

Through lawyer Lucy Momanyi, the petitioner, who is a minor, told the High Court in Mombasa Tuesday that the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) had failed to provide any legitimate basis for denying his request for re-marking.

INDEPENDENCE

Ms Momanyi argued that Knec’s assertion that a re-mark and scrutiny of KCSE answer sheets will compromise its independence is far-fetched.

“We also submit that the request by the petitioner is in line with reforms sought by the 4th respondent (Knec) including the public interest as described in Section 6 (4) Access to Information (ATI) Act,” said Ms Momanyi.

She further argued that accountability, oversight, informed debate and protection of public interest can only be achieved if individuals such as the petitioner have the ability to obtain information about them held by the State.

RIGHT FOR REMARK

Ms Momanyi said the re-mark and scrutiny of the petitioner’s transcripts is a right he holds, hence it is not a matter of consideration by Knec.

She added that the petitioner’s right can only be observed, promoted and fulfilled if his answer scripts are re-marked.

“The petitioner is a brilliant young man who has high ambitions and actions of the respondents have greatly affected him,” she said.

She said exam markers expressed concern that there was a rush in marking the examination.

The petitioner said that last year was his second time to sit the examination, having also done the test in 2016, where he scored C-.

BRIGHT STUDENT

“The petitioner is a  bright student and, after repeating the 2016 examination, he has more than doubled his efforts and was expecting no less than a B+ in 2017  results,” said Ms Momanyi.

 She said the petitioner was apprehensive that without a court order, the examinations council will not re-mark his 2017 papers within the timelines set out hence infringing on his constitutional right to education.

Justice Eric Ogola directed the Attorney-General, who has also been sued by the petitioner, to file his submissions within 14 days.

He fixed the petition for hearing on April 19.