Reprieve for poor KCPE performers

Nairobi – Pupils who scored poor marks in last year’s national examination got a reprieve after registration for the next test was extended to March 31.

Nairobi – Pupils who scored poor marks in last year’s national examination got a reprieve after registration for the next test was extended to March 31.

Kenya National Examinations Council head of communications, Ms Frida Were, told thousands of pupils wishing to repeat class eight not to panic as there were no plans to lock them out.

“This is the first time we are implementing the programme and we cannot be too harsh on pupils willing to repeat,” she said.

She said although the new system of registration for the KCPE exam starts in class seven, those willing to repeat Standard Eight would not be blocked.

Ms Were said more than 90 per cent of the KCPE exam registration had been done and schools instructed to provide accurate data but there was room for repeaters.

She said payments for registration would be made by the end of March.

“We want those who got poor grades but are interested in going back to Standard Eight to get fair treatment,” she said.

The reprieve comes barely one day after Kirinyaga Central Member of Parliament Gachoki Gitari complained about the new registration rules.

Mr Gitari said at the weekend that pupils willing to repeat Standard Eight due to poor results had been locked out following a directive to register one year before sitting the exam.

The lawmaker said the registration had been concluded on December 31, causing panic among pupils and parents.

He described the directive as retrogressive and urged the examinations council to withdraw it.

Mr Gitari promised to take up the matter with Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi, saying the matter was serious.

“My son, who will be sitting for the examination this year, registered when he was in class seven. This early registration may affect thousands of pupils who want to repeat standard eight and try their luck again,” he said in Kerugoya town on Sunday.

The directive prompted protests from parents and Kenya National Union of Teachers officials who expressed fears that thousands of children may become idle or be forced to repeat standard seven or six.

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