Education Permanent Secretary, Belio Kipsang, announced on February 13 that the Ministry of Education had noticed fraudulent activities happening in schools. The teachers in certain primary schools had illicitly moved Grade Seven learners to Class 8 and registered them as candidates. This maneuver allowed the students to skip the Competency-based Curriculum (CBC) and sit for the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination.
Kipsang pointed out six ways that parents and teachers were circumventing the Ministry’s guidelines, such as falsifying school and birth records. Other tactics included obtaining new birth certificates, generating a new Unique Personal Identification (UPI) for continuing learners, and presenting Grade Seven learners as Class 8 candidates. Some schools even facilitated the transfer of Grade Seven learners into other schools and then presented them as Class 8 transfers.
The government expressed their intention to take action against any school found engaging in these illicit practices. Field officers were directed to validate all registration data for KCPE and to report any abnormal increase in KCPE candidature against 2022 enrollment.
The PS remarks followed the concerns of Garissa Township Deputy County Commissioner, Solomon Chesut. Chesut highlighted the illegal practices taking place and warned that teachers risked losing their jobs or facing jail time for violating education rights. He also stated that students who did the Grade 6 assessment exams were supposed to be in Junior Secondary schools, and parents were colluding with teachers to admit some of these students to Class 8.
Kipsang accused some primary school teachers of coordinating with parents to illegally move their children to Class 8. Parents and teachers would falsify school records and tamper with student’s birth certificate numbers and dates of birth to allow their children to sit for the KCPE examination without completing the CBC.
Kipsang announced that the government would take action against any school caught engaging in these fraudulent practices. He warned that teachers found complicit could lose their jobs or face jail time. The Ministry of Education field officers were directed to validate KCPE registration data and report any abnormalities. The issue has caused concern for many, and the government is taking action to ensure that the educational system remains fair and just for all students.