Do not use national exams as money minting business, KUPPET tells KNEC

KUPPET Chairman Omboko Milemba. Image|Courtesy

The Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers has warned the ministry of education and the examination council (KNEC) against staking the lives of teachers and students for money.

This comes after complaints from various schools ensued about the use of a hazardous chemical used in Chemistry Paper 3 practical exams on Friday.

Speaking during a press conference with reporters at Kuppet offices Nairobi, Chairman Omboko Milemba claimed that the move by KNEC to direct the use of xylene chemical, which was supplied by a single supplier, was a money minting business.

“We have established that Xylene chemical is expensive.., a litre of the chemical cost Sh. 10,000 yet the tender was given to a single supplier. You can imagine how much money the single supplier made,” claimed Mr. Milemba.

He added that exam matters should not be put to business for the befits of some individuals who ‘make money at the expense of other people’s life’.

The union wants the ministry and KNEC to be answerable to the concern raised by teachers concerning the chemical.

Secretary General Akello Misori said the union is undertaking an assessment about the extent of injuries caused by the chemical to teachers, with a view of taking legal action.

Misori added that KNEC should adopt a well-established safety measures to protect teachers and students during future exams.

“We urge KNEC to allow ample time for teachers to prepare for practical exams. At the moment there is limited time for teachers to prepare chemicals, especially owing to the fact that most schools do not have lab technicians, depending on teachers to prepare the samples for students,” said Misori.

Reports shows that scores of students and teachers were affected and some admitted to hospitals after using Xylene chemical as a solvent in Friday exams.

In Trans Nzoia County, a teacher from St Monica Girls Kitale was admitted to Galilee hospital after developing complications caused by fumes inhaled from Xylene.

According to the safety data sheet of the chemical, Xylene affects the fertility of the unborn children, which might have prompted Ms Cherusha Nyakeri, an expectant teacher at Tidea Girls High School, hospitalized after being exposed to Xylene fumes.



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