NAIROBI—The National Assembly Committee on Education, led by the chairperson Julius Melly (Tinderet MP) has raised concerns about the Kenya National Examination Council’s (KNEC) practice of charging for text messages used to check candidates’ examination results.
Melly, who spoke after leading Members of the Committee on a fact-finding visit at KNEC offices at the Jomo Kenyatta Foundation premises along Enterprise Road in Industrial Area, expressed discontent over the financial burden this places on Kenyan parents.
“Considering the hard economic times, the charges are an extra load to already overburdened and struggling Kenyan parents,” observed the chairperson during a meeting with KNEC CEO Dr. David Njeng’ere and other top agency officials. Basic Education PS Dr. Belio Kipsang was also present.
Dr. Njeng’ere clarified that the revenue generated from the premium charged SMS is shared among mobile network operators, the SMS service provider and KNEC.
According to the CEO, the revenue is disclosed in KNEC’s Annual Accounts, and the sharing ratio between KNEC and the service provider is 80:20.
However, Melly requested more details about the SMS charges, which the PS assured would be provided and presented before the Committee.
PS Kipsang added that although SMS results are charged, the same results are available on the school portal for free. Many Kenyans, however, prefer the SMS option due to its speed and timeliness.
During the session, Committee Members pressed KNEC to ensure the validity of the recently released KCPE 2023 results, citing concerns about schools where learners reportedly scored similar marks.
In response, PS Kipsang assured the Committee that upon investigation, the Ministry found no evidence supporting such allegations.
“What was being bandied around on Social Media was not the case on the ground,” asserted PS Kipsang.
To substantiate his claim, Julius Melly instructed the PS to present the results of the two schools where similar marks were alleged before the Committee on Thursday, 7th December 2023.
“We shall table everything that may have caused an uproar tomorrow (Thursday) when we appear before the committee at Parliament,” assured the PS.