Principals Withholding Students’ Certificates Face Interdiction Due To This Reason

Parliament has put school heads on the spot for continuing to withhold candidates’ Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education {KCSE) certificates.

Kimani Kuria, Molo MP, noted during the National Assembly proceedings on Thursday, October 21, that it is illegal and the principals have no power to withhold such certificates.

He also expressed regret that several young people from low-income families are missing out on life-changing opportunities as a result of the schools’ seizure of their certificates.

“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.

Thousands of KCSE certificates belonging to needy Kenyans, according to the lawmaker, are being held despite the existence of clear provisions of the law and government directives.

He claimed that several principals disobeyed a government order issued by the Cabinet Secretary for Education in July 2014. The order required all secondary school principals to release all KCSE certificates that were being held illegally.

The legislator went on to say that it is the government’s constitutional duty to protect citizens through equity, regardless of their social status in society.

He cited the KNEC Act of 2012, which states: “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 asked Florence Mutua, the chairperson of the National Assembly’s Education and Research Committee, for a statement.

He asked her to look into the number of certificates held in secondary schools across the country, why some principals still have them, and what steps the Ministry is taking to enforce the certificate ban.

According to reports, several Kenyans have raised concerns and reported cases of their certificates being withheld by schools, with some claiming that the government has failed to take action.

According to John Kinyanjui, a victim of such, principals will only heed the government’s directive if proper action is taken against those who defy the directive, adding that most principals have taken advantage of the students and minted cash from their pockets during certificate collection.

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