KCSE 2020-2021 marking Commences as KNEC contracted Professionals Decry Poor Working Conditions and Under Payment: Latest News on the KCSE 2020-2021 Results
The marking of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education, KCSE national Examinations has officially commenced.
Knec seasoned Examiners have already reported to duty in the specified KNEC marking centres spread across Nairobi.
The 2021 KCSE Examiners are however not a happy lot right now since it seems that their plea fell on deaf ears.
This is simply because Knec increased marking centres without bearing in mind the social distancing guidelines provided by the Ministry of Health.
According to privy sources whose identity I will not reveal for fear of being victimized, the issue of congestion has not been addressed despite the threat posted by the third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In one of the marking centres in Nairobi for instance, 16 Examiners have been forced to share a very small room.
What is even more devastating is the fact that there are no sockets from where Examiners can charge their phones.
If Knec decided to increase the number of marking centres, it should have taken into account the social distance rule since it is Common knowledge that not all teachers have been vaccinated against Covid-19.
Although going for marking is voluntary, Knec should realize the pertinent roles played by KCSE Examiners since without them, we will not get any results.
Moreover, in 2019 ugly scenes were exposes when Physics and Business Examiners downed their tools following poor working conditions and low pay.
The 2019 expose brought to light the plight of Knec Examiners which include
Long working hours
To deliver the KCSE Knec results as scheduled, teachers are forced to wake up in the wee hours of dawn, as early as 4.00 a.m. and work until 10.00 P.m.
This leaves them feeling overwhelmed and exhausted at the same time.
Poor Knec payment rates
Despite the sacrifices made by the Knec Examiners to deliver exam results in time, Knec still pays them as low as 50 Kenyan shillings per script.
Following the demos staged by Examiners in 2019, KUPPET backed them saying that KNEC should pay Examiners a flat rate of Kshs 100 per script.
However, the arbitration process saw Knec increase the payment rates by Kshs 2 per script.
This means that the highest paid Knec KCSE examiner will receive Kshs 79 per script- English Paper 3.
The rest will receive between Kshs 51-77 per script.
Another key challenge that Examiners are dealing with under the watch of the so-called giant teachers’ unions is congestion.
As earlier noted, some marking centres are currently congested to an extent that sixteen Examiners are being forced to share a cube.
Knec should be sensitive enough especially with the ravaging covid-19 pandemic and increase the number of marking centres further to encourage social distancing.
Over taxation of Examiners pay
What is even more devastating is the issue of taxation.
Any Examiner who marks papers worth Kshs 24,000 and above will be forced to remit 25 per cent of his total pay to the Kenya Revenue Authority.
Although Examiners have protested against this, their pleas seem to fall on deaf ears since neither Knec nor KRA cares.
This is the most unfortunate of all since some teachers were locked out of the 2021 TSC promotions for lack of KRA Tax compliance Certificate following tax arrears ascribed to Knec marking.