Private Schools Set to Pay KCPE and KCSE Examination Fees
A proposal tabled in parliament could see private schools paying Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination fees.
However, the proposal is yet to be approved but once approved, parents with children attending private schools could start paying national examination fees for their children in 2024.
The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) is going through financial issues hence the reason why Members of Parliament (MPs) are calling for parents to pay examination registration costs.
The issues were revealed when the KNEC Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr David Njengere addressed the Parliamentary Investment on Education and Governance.
The KNEC CEO also responded to inquiries from the auditor-general.
At the moment, the government is paying around Kes. 800 per learner who sits for five subjects in primary schools.
In secondary schools, the government covers the cost of Kes. 5,000 per learner for students doing seven subjects, Kes. 5,400 for learners sitting for eight subjects and Kes. 5,800 for learners sitting for nine subjects.
The Parliamentary Investment on Education and Governance Chairperson Jack Wamboka said that private schools are businesses and if parents pay fees, then they should be paying the whole amount of examination fees.
Wamboka assured that his committee will ensure that enough money is set aside for the council to deliver its mandate.
“We have the best interest of this country at heart. We will ensure you are financially sound,” said Wamboka.
“The purpose on which private schools are operating is to make money and there is no need for the government to fund their examinations,” said Wamboka.
This was in response to Imenti South MP Shadrack Mwiti who had raised the matter of none payment to teachers who were involved in the administration of examinations.
“Teachers who administered examinations and police officers who secured the examinations have not been paid their money after delivering their services,” said the Member of Parliament.
Njengere told the MPs that the Council is not able to deliver on its mandate due to inadequate funds.
“We are unable to fund most of the obligations. We administer exams and pay some money in advance. We are waiting for supplementary funds so that we can pay the balance,” said Njengere.
Some time back, the government announced a waiver of examination fees to all students attending public and private schools sitting for the national examinations.
While presenting the budget for the financial year 2020/2021, the Treasury CS Ukur Yatani revealed that the government had allocated Kes. 4 billion towards covering examination fees for learners sitting for their KCPE and KCSE examinations for that academic year.
This means that the current academic year might be the last year that the government covers the costs of the examination fees albeit partially for students in private schools.
Primary schools will not be affected since the current KCPE learners are set to be the last of their kind with the 8-4-4 education system set to be phased out permanently in primary schools. The Competency-Based Curriculum is set to cover the whole primary section in all schools across the country.