Selection of Form 1 learners, placement allowed by court

Thursday, November 30th, 2023 06:11 | By
Lawyers Danstan Omari and Shadrack Wambui representing two parents who moved to court seeking to have the Form One selection stopped over examination  discrepancies. PHOTO/Charles Mathai
Lawyers Danstan Omari and Shadrack Wambui representing two parents who moved to court seeking to have the Form One selection stopped over examination  discrepancies. PHOTO/Charles Mathai

The Form One selection exercise will go on devoid of any hitch after the High Court declined to halt the exercise pending the hearing of two cases stemming from the recently released Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) results.

As the placement goes on, the future of hundreds of children who had expressed dissatisfaction with the results released by Kenya National Examinations Council is bleak as their request to have their results re-marked awaits judicial decision.

Milimani High Court Judge Lawrence Mugambi fixed the case for mention on February 7, 2024, for directions long after the selection wikk have completed and all Form One students joined their respective schools.

The directions were given following a letter by the petitioners’ lawyer Danstan Omari on November 28, 2023 to the Registrar of the High Court seeking urgent intervention of the court to give directions on the case as the students are anxious.

“We filed an application dated November 27, 2023 under a Certificate of Urgency seeking temporary orders suspending the Form One placement exercise pending the hearing and determination of the petitioners’/Applicants’ concerns which stem from the recently released Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) 2023 results. Your office will appreciate that the matter is of national concern and the urgency of the same cannot be possibly emphasised enough in this letter,” Omari stated in the correspondence.

“Despite the fact that the matter was actioned to honorable Mugambi on November 27, 2023) for directions on the same day, the same are yet to be given. That is delayed justice in view of the subject matter of the petition.

"The future of the Kenyan child is pegged on the decision of the court on this matter as the children need to progress to their next stage in the education system. Therefore, we request for your intervention in the said matters before the court for appropriate directions to be made,” the lawyer told the Registrar.

Following the letter Justice Mugambi issued directions that the case be heard next year.

In a brief ruling Justice Mugambi declined to issue conservatory orders suspending the exercise that kicked off on Monday and instead ordered the cases filed over the irregularities in the results of the KCPE 2023 to be heard on February 7, 2024.

Attached affidavit

The judge also ordered the petitioners from Kitengela International School and Set Greenhill Academy Mixed Day and Boarding and Junior School to serve the Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu and Kenya National Examinations Council with their pleadings within 14 days.

“Having read the Certificate of Urgency filed herein, together with the Notice of Motion Application dated November 25, 2023, and the attached affidavit in support and annexures, I hereby direct that responses to the case be filed and served within 14 days. Mention on February 7, 2024, for further directions,” Mugambi ordered.

The directions by the judge came two days after two parents of the two schools moved to the High Court seeking orders to stop KNEC and the Ministry of Education from beginning the Form One selection exercise until their cases are heard and determined.

The parents namely Pius Kiio and Everlyn Kemuma Omwoyo disputed the results released on Thursday last week claiming that there were errors in the grading system.

They said if the process which kicked off on Monday November 27, 2023 goes on, the pupils will be denied justice and miss the secondary school of their choice if the review is done in their favour.
Kiio of Kitengela International School who is representing his child stated that the school had in the last three years produced good results and it was difficult to now comprehend how this year’s results had variances.

Through lawyer Omari, Kiio said the 2023 results “did not fall within a reasonable range”.

“I am dissatisfied with the way my child’s papers were marked in the just released KCPE examinations and through the school, other parents and I have written to the Chief Executive Officer of the Kenya National Examinations Council and the Isinya Sub-County Director of Education requesting for review under section 27 of the Kenya National Examinations Council Marking of examinations, release of results and certification rules,” Kiio says.

At the same time, Evelyne Kemuma of Set Greenhill Academy expressed her dissatisfaction with how her child’s exam papers were marked and the rushed release of the results.

KNEC offices, the petitioners believe, are a crime scene and their activities preceding the release of the 2023 KCPE results should be investigated.

Omari says that CS Machogu and KNEC has failed to respect, uphold and defend the constitution by flagrantly putting the future of the Kenya kids in confusion and jeopardy.

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