Kenya’s One Kenya leader, Raila Odinga, has asserted that a contentious multi-billion-dollar exam printing tender lies at the core of the alleged irregularities in the 2023 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results.
Odinga calls for a special task force to investigate the controversy and unveils shocking details.
Tender War Unveiled
Odinga alleges a fierce, tender war among senior Ministry of Education officials, escalating to higher government levels.
He suggests that President William Ruto’s government’s abrupt termination of the contract with a UK printing firm triggered a problematic chain of events.
UK Printing Firm Controversy
According to Odinga, after canceling the UK contract, the tender was hastily awarded to a local company on Mombasa Road, Nairobi, despite concerns about its capacity to handle the task securely and promptly.
He claims kickbacks played a role, compromising the integrity of the process.
Outsourcing to India
The Mombasa Road-based company allegedly outsourced exam printing to an Indian company, resulting in rushed production.
Odinga highlights the UK firm’s refusal to provide security codes, crucial for safeguarding the exams’ integrity.
Results Relay Controversy
Odinga further exposes a decision to change the company responsible for relaying exam results, causing discrepancies.
He contends that the switch led to variations between results received via shortcode and those on the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) portal, sparking confusion.
Legal Challenges and Implications
The fallout from the alleged mismanagement has led to legal challenges, with students seeking to rectify grades.
Odinga emphasizes the need for a comprehensive investigation to prevent such incidents in the future.
Call for Stakeholder Partnership
To safeguard the credibility of Kenyan exams, Odinga proposes collaboration with key stakeholders, including religious bodies, anti-corruption agencies, and law enforcement.
He advocates for a task force to scrutinize the entire exam management process.
Ongoing Tension and Public Outcry
MPs joined the call for a robust communication center to address public concerns after the KCPE results.
They recommend improvements to the National Examinations Tribunal and suggest ways to provide results to candidates without additional charges.
Committee Inquiry and Oversight
During a National Assembly Education Committee hearing, legislators question the PS and Knec on the entire examination process.
Concerns range from discrepancies in results to candidates allegedly paying for registration but not being officially registered.
PS and Knec Response
The PS acknowledges errors in the provisional results and promises timely rectifications.
He addresses a case where a student’s marks increased, attributing it to initial oversights.
Knec CEO explains the weighting of constructed responses in the standardization process.
Challenges and the Way Forward
The committee probes claims of students missing exams despite paying for registration.
The PS places responsibility on schools for accurate registration.
He dismisses falsified online results and pledges to provide accurate data promptly.