KUPPET Asks KNEC to Sign MoU with Teachers on Examination Marking
The Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) has called for a formalization of the engagement of its members with the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC).
The Council recruits teachers as invigilators, supervisors and examiners during the national examinations.
According to KUPPET Chairperson Hon. Omboko Miemba, a recognition agreement will shield its members from unfair terms of employment and poor working conditions.
Milemba, also Emuhaya Member of Parliament (MP), said that part of its resolutions this year is the push for a recognition agreement.
According to him, KNEC is still a heartbreak for its members who are engaged during the exercise and they will let their members go through tough times.
“Worse still, KNEC always instructs our employer TSC to discipline our members without any further reference while it pays our teachers peanuts, which are also delayed,” regretted Milemba.
Milemba warned that they would mobilize and urge their members to stop offering their services if the terms are not improved.
Teachers who mark CRE Paper 1 (313/1) in the 2022 KCSE at St Francis Mang’u Girls High School stopped marking because of poor remuneration and working conditions. There were also intimidation claims from a section of the teachers.
Some of the teachers who spoke to the media albeit with the request to be anonymous revealed that there was the use of abusive language by the Council’s leaders, opaqueness in the promotion of teachers, a lack of regional balancing and authoritarianism from the Chief Examiner.
Teachers were also subjected to long working hours with no pay for overtime, sleeping for four or fewer hours because their day began at 5 am and they then went to bed at 10:00 pm.
They also claimed that they were paid lower rates (Kes. 55 per paper) as compared to their Kiswahili counterparts who were paid, Kes. 78 per paper.
In their defence, KNEC revealed that the marking exercise went on without any hiccups in all 35 centres except one centre.
On the 11th of January 2023, KNEC dismissed all CRE Paper 1 examiners. The dismissal was with immediate effect.
The examiners who had returned to continue with the marking exercise at St. Francis Mang’u Girls High School have been told to leave the centre.
The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) Chief Executive Officer’s attempts to address the examiners’ grievances were unsuccessful yesterday.
It has now been revealed that following a multi-agency meeting comprising the Ministry of Education, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), and the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) a decision to dismiss all CRE Paper 1 examiners was reached.
The dissatisfied examiners complained about the tyranny of the Chief Examiner and poor pay.
According to them, CRE examiners only earn Kes. 55 for every paper they mark while assessors for other subjects earn Kes. 78 for each script they mark.
“Due to the current harsh economic situation, we expect the government to review our payment terms. Since 2010 the payment of work done per paper has remained at Kes 55 which we now want to be increased to Kes 70,” said one of the examiners to the media who preferred to be anonymous.
The examiners complained about their Chief Examiner overworking them saying that they had been waking up at 5:00 am and going to bed at 10:00 pm. they wanted to be anonymous over fears of being victimized.
They said that long workdays had led to them being too tired to render an accurate judgment and that they would end up failing. Additionally, they complained that their contact had been completely cut off by the seizure of their laptops and phones from the marking area.
The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) David Njengere’s efforts of addressing the teachers’ grievances on the 10th of January did not bear fruit.
The teachers said that the KNEC CEO simply removed the Chief Examiner who they had complained about for using tyranny and a lack of leadership but their calls for a pay rise fell on deaf ears.
The examiners said they will continue downing their tools which might postpone the announcement of the KCSE results. They insisted that they will not return to marking until their grievances had been addressed.
“CRE is like an essay and takes a lot of time to mark. Our demands for the increment in payment per script must be increased from Kes 55 to at least Kes 70, failure to which we will not resume the marking exercise,” said one of the female examiners who told journalists over the phone.
KNEC has since released a circular on the same matter to reveal the steps they have taken to address the issue.
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