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Ministry probes schools helping students skip junior secondary

One parent admitted to colluding with teachers to help her two children skip junior secondary school

Education CS Ezekiel Machogu and PS Belio Kipsang held a virtual meeting with Regional Coordinators of education, County Directors of Education and Subcounty Directors of Education on February 13, 2023

The Ministry of Education in Kenya has expressed concern over allegations that some schools have been registering Grade Seven pupils for the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams.

Reports have emerged that some parents have been bribing headteachers to allow their children to skip the junior secondary school (JSS) phase of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC).

Parents have been colluding with schools to make it look like the students are transferring to Class 8 under the 8-4-4 system from another school.

The enrollment period for the 2023 KCPE and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations commenced on February 1 and will conclude on March 30.

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The Ministry of Education has ordered an investigation into the scandal and cautioned schools to validate the 2023 KCPE registration data and eliminate any illegal candidates registered for the test.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang confirmed several attempts by some primary schools to register Grade Seven learners for KCPE.

In a letter dated February 13, the PS noted that the falsification of school records, learners' birth records, and biodata of Grade Seven pupils had been detected, along with attempts by some parents to obtain new birth certificates or change old ones to aid in the malpractice.

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All field officers are asked to validate all registration data for 2023 KCPE and point out any abnormal increase in the KCPE candidature against 2022 class seven enrolment.

Officers are also directed to liaise with the State Department for Citizen Services on issues of birth certificate issuance that are abnormal. Any school found to engage in such malpractice must be reported to this office for action,” read the letter.

Some parents reportedly want to dodge the CBC system which has been marred by confusion, poor planning, inadequate resources and teachers available for JSS (Grades Seven, Eight, and Nine).

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My two children, who were to join Grade Seven, are now in class eight awaiting KCPE. I have enrolled them for tuition to cover Class Seven.

"I couldn’t allow my children to go through this mess in CBC so I had to pay a school and a teacher to register my children as candidates,” a parent confided to Nation.

According to a Class Eight teacher who spoke to the press, it is possible for the Ministry of Education to unearth candidates who were fraudulently registered for KCPE.

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