The National Assembly has put secondary school principals on the spot over the continued withholding the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) certificates belonging to candidates.
Speaking on Thursday, October 21, during the National Assembly proceedings, Molo Member of Parliament, Kimani Kuria, stated that it is illegal and the principals have no authority to withhold such certificates.
He further lamented that several young people from humble backgrounds are missing life-changing opportunities due seizure of their certificates by the schools.
“Many young people are missing out on great opportunities including admission to colleges and universities because of their KCSE certificates being held at their schools,” he stated.
The lawmaker stated that thousands of KCSE certificates belonging to needy Kenyans are being held despite the existence of clear provisions of the law and directives from the government.
He stated that several principals have violated the government’s order issued in July 2014 through the Cabinet Secretary for Education. The order compelled all secondary school heads to release all the KCSE certificates held illegally.
The legislator further stated that it is the constitutional duty of the government to protect the citizens through equity regardless of their social status in the society.
He quoted the KNEC Act of 2012 which stipulates that: “The function of the council shall be to award certificates or diplomas to candidates in such institutions and that such certificate and diplomas shall not be withheld from the candidates by any person or institution.”
The MP also sought a statement from Florence Mutua who is the chairperson of the National Assembly’s Education and Research Committee. He asked her to probe the number of certificates being held across secondary schools in the country, why some heads are still holding the certificates, and the measures the Ministry is putting to affect the ban on holding certificates.
“It is against this background that I seek a statement on the following; how many KCSE certificates are still being held by the various school heads across the country for non-clearance of school fees, why some school heads are still illegally holding on to the said certificates contrary to existing laws and government order and what measures does the ministry have in place to ensure adherence to the law and governments directive on the ban on withholding certificates,” he stated.
Reports have indicated that several Kenyans have raised alarms and reported cases of their certificates being withheld by schools, with some stating that the government has failed to take an initiative.
John Kinyanjui, who is a victim of such, stated that the principals will only heed to the government’s directive if proper action is taken to those who defy the directive adding that most principals have taken advantage of the students and minted cash from their pockets during the collection of the certificates.