Billions of shillings have been pumped into administering the ongoing national examinations with government officers making a killing from the month-long exercise.
The officers have been getting daily subsistence allowances ranging between Sh6,300 to Sh18, 000 in major towns.
Cabinet Secretaries, Chief Administrative Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, heads of parastatals who have been witnessing the administration of the examinations since October 30, are usually accompanied by two to five staff-who are also entitled to daily subsistence allowances.
Compared to last year, this year’s exercise attracted more than 10 Cabinet Secretaries and other senior government officers.
Those monitoring the exams in areas such as Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, Malindi, Kilifi, Lamu, Kwale and Naivasha are entitled to daily allowances between Sh6, 300 and Sh18,200.
Those in Nyeri, Eldoret, Kericho, Kakamega, Kisii, Embu, Nanyuki, Nakuru, Lodwar and Garissa are paid between Sh4,900 and Sh12,600 while those in all other towns are getting between Sh4,200 and Sh10,500.
Those going outside Nairobi are also entitled to air transport since they are required to be in examination centres as early as 6am in order to monitor the exercise. Some also spend the nights in nearby hotels in order to be in designated centres on time.
There are more than 1,000 special monitors drawn from various ministries and departments of government who are involved in monitoring the exams. They are also paid daily subsistence allowance.
Also involved in the exercise are officials from the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association, Kenya Private Schools Association, Kenya Primary School Heads Association, Kenya National Union of Teachers,
Kenya Union of Post-Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), National Parents Association, and Special School Heads association, among others.
The registration of the 1.6 million candidates for both the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) cost Sh4 billion, while monitoring the exams is costing taxpayers Sh4.2billion.
This means that the government officers involved in the exercise are drawing their allowances from their respective institutions, which will run into millions of shillings.
President Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto have also visited schools to inspect the exercise with Kuppet and the Consumer Federation of Kenya questioning their roles in the exercise.
Also benefiting from the exercise are sub-county commissioners, divisional police bosses, Teachers Service Commission county and sub-county officers, regional education coordinators, county and sub-county directors of education among others.
Data indicate that from the Sh4.2 billion allocated to the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), Sh2 billion is for teachers who will mark the scripts, while Sh1 billion is for paying invigilators, supervisors, centre managers and security officers. The rest is for logistics.
Kuppet Chairman Omboko Milemba asked President Kenyatta, his deputy and CSs to keep off secondary schools.
“The presence of Mr Kenyatta and his deputy and the CSs do not add value to the Form Four candidates.
The union has established that students spent more than 30 minutes panicking during exams whenever top government officials visited schools during exam period,” Mr Milemba said.
The Kuppet boss claimed that some of the CSs and PSs have been engaged in a spending spree, courtesy of exams, and accused the President of doing little to cut government spending.
Consumer Federation of Kenya (Cofek) has queried senior government officers’ involvement in the examinations.
“We cannot spend less on modernising the quality education yet spend too much trying to stop examination cheating.
The government should invest in cheaper and sustainable systems that will eradicate exam cheating without deployment of the current massive resources,” he said.
CSs and other senior government officials’ job is not to supervise exams, Cofek said.
By Daily Nation