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January 21, 2019

No more index numbers based on class performance – ministry

A Form 1 student accompanied by his family is guided by Nairobi School security during the reporting day on January 7 / FILE
A Form 1 student accompanied by his family is guided by Nairobi School security during the reporting day on January 7 / FILE

The ministry of Education will get rid of index numbers and assign learners unique registration numbers in the 2019 KCPE/SE exams.

Kenya National Examination Council in a circular dated 26 November 2018 addressing school heads and sub-county directors of education reveals index numbers will be given on the basis of the candidates’ admission numbers and not on class performance as has been the tradition.

The move clouds uncertainty around previous plans introduced in 2017 where Unique Personal Identifier (UPI) under the National Education Management Information System sought to facilitate financial management of schools.

Read: Unique identifiers to replace index numbers during exams

The UPI was to have six characters and would monitor learners through their entire school lifetime including examination registration.

“All candidates for both KCPE and KCSE examination will be issued with an index number as per the schools admission register not class performance as was the case in previous years,” the circular by Acting KNEC CEO, Mercy Karogo, states in part.

The circular further demands schools to have more than 15 candidates to be registered as examination centers.

She states that all candidates must be registered where they have been learning; adding that any school that has between 6 and 15 candidates will be hosted by another centre to be determined by the Sub County Director of Education.

In the registration for the 2019 KCPE, KCSE and Qualifying Test that starts 2nd January 2019 and ends 15th February 2019, KNEC warns that double registration will be considered as an examination malpractice.

This arising from a trend in private schools registering candidates in different centres, depending on their performance strength.

As was the case in 2018, the registration will be done online.

Examination Fee

Like in the past three years, the circular states that the government will continue footing examination fees for students 

However, those re-sitting or repeaters the examinations will be expected to pay their examination fees.

In 2018 the ministry reports that it used Sh40 million as waiver on examination fees.

Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) national chairman Kahi Indimuli said the proposal would end performance bias in schools and could help resolve issues of student unrest.

“There has been stigma among students that those with low index numbers are poor performers while those with higher numbers are bright,” said Mr Indimuli.

More: Index numbers abolished, pupils to get unique digits in standard 1

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