KNEC should improve examiners’ working conditions

Leonard Oronje, KUPPET Kwale Executive Secretary.

A few years ago, teachers were proud to be contracted by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) as examiners.

However, things have changed for the worst and that is no longer the case! Working for KNEC today as a contracted professional has become a big risk hence most teachers would rather stay at home with their families than go for marking.

Most stakeholders are concerned by the fact that year in year out, KNEC churns out more and more ridiculous policies. A keen look at these policies shows how hard KNEC is trying to hide its glaring failures and inadequacies.

For example, it is foolhardy for KNEC to say that there has never been any exam leakage then come up with a policy in which Centre Managers will have to collect exam papers from the containers twice a day; in the wee hours of the morning and in the afternoons.

Have the right logistics been put in place to see this policy through or is it another plan that will fail as usual then the contracted professionals will be held accountable?

It is wrong for KNEC to use Teachers Service Commission (TSC) to coerce teachers to administer exams. When and how did KNEC become a department of TSC? For clarity purposes, Contracted Professionals isn’t the same as Contracted Teachers.

The new policy of forcibly and exclusively recruiting secondary school teachers to administer and supervise national exams is totally misplaced. KNEC is at liberty to contract any professional to work for them and pay them well.

However, it’s unfortunate that KNEC forces teachers to work for it because poor remuneration, late payments for work done as well as poor working conditions do not attract any professionals.

In a nutshell, it is paradoxical these teachers are being forced to pay for the administration of national exams in Kenya.

This totally contravenes the principle of equity as provided for under Section 5 of the Kenya Employment Act, 2007, which requires an employer to pay his employees equal remuneration for work of equal value.  Therefore, an employer who contravenes this law commits a crime.

It’s also unfortunate that KNEC trains new examiners then fails to call them to mark the exams yet most teachers use their resources to train as examiners so as to build their professional capacities.

Training examiners then inviting them for the marking exercise only after others reject propositions is being inconsiderate towards them and will not solve the deep-seated problem of poor working conditions and poor and late payments.

KNEC has tainted its image and it’s the only body that can redeem itself. This can be done by simply paying the contracted professionals well and immediately after work has been done.

By Leonard Oronje

Oronje is the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Kwale Executive Secretary and also a member of KUPPET National Governing Council.

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Education News - Newspaper Vol 281