Ikolomani MP Ben Shinali – “Maybe parents and students may also now be able to celebrate”
Candidates preparing to sit their national school exams could soon have their registration fees paid by the government if a motion that is due to be tabled in Parliament by Ikolomani MP Ben Shinali sees the light of the day.
NATIONAL EXAMINATION COUNCIL BILL
Citing high levels of poverty that have rocked the majority of citizens in the country, Shinali expressed his plan to introduce a motion in Parliament that seeks to amend the National Examination Council Bill in order to compel the government to pay the National Examinations registration fees for all candidates.
POORER STUDENTS LOCKED OUT
Currently, as stipulated by The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) the registration fee for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) is Sh800, while the fee for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) depends on the subjects a candidate is taking. Private candidates sitting for KCSE pay Sh3,200 for the seven papers and Ksh3,600 for the nine papers in KCSE exams in Kenya.
Failure to register for exams within the stipulated period by KNEC means that a candidate is locked out of that year’s exam until the next one, which means repeating the class.
Fees such as these, and many others added on to the cost of public schooling, were the subject of another article we wrote recently. In that piece, we discussed the rising, additional fees tacked on to ‘free’ education and how the process was pricing out poorer students.
RELIEF FOR PARENTS
If Shinali’s motion gets a nod in parliament, this will come as a relief to most parents who, apart from the exam fees, are grappling with exorbitant school fees in general.
“Poverty still remains a big challenge to many citizens of this country, yet the examination fees has risen to an extent that they cannot afford. Many Form Four and Class Eight candidates are now being deterred from registering for the examinations. I am going to introduce this Bill so that the Government can pay examination fees for the candidates to enhance education accessibility,” Shinali said.
Ndhiwa MP Agostino Neto echoed Shinali’s sentiments and promised to second the Motion saying that education is a constitutional right that needs to be made accessible to all children.
“There is no way the government can talk about free education while schools charge high fees to the extent that many students would not be able to join Form One this year due to the high school fees,” he said.