|Office of The Council Secretary/Chief Executive Officer|
OFFICES UNDER THE CS/CEO
Other than the six departments; the following functions report directly to the CS/CEO:
History and general overview
The present day research division was first established a research unit in 1977 when the examinations section was based under the Ministry of Education. Primarily the unit was concerned with providing statistical data on the various aspects of the system. The unit started with a staff of four (4) research officers and was expanded to nine (9) in 1981. By 2012, the research division had a staff establishment of 23 members of staff.
In its early years, Research unit conducted a programme of applied research into examinations, particularly in the development of item analysis for the purpose of test development. Later this was included in the studies into the validity and reliability of examinations and sex differences in attainment.
The current 2012 Research division conducts research into the curriculum, examination irregularities and examination processes. Other functions include preparation of feedback reports and examination release reports and conducting examination performance analysis and statistics.
The division conducts the monitoring of the field administration of the KNEC examination to ensure that the examinations are administered as per the set rules and regulations so as to guard against examination irregularities and malpractices. Officers from other departments and stakeholders are involved in the monitoring of KNEC examinations to ensure ownership of the process.
The assessment of candidates with special needs is conducted by the division in order to find out the nature of their disability and the kind of support they require to sit their examinations. Some schools do not declare candidates with disability while others provide inadequate information about the nature of their candidate’s disability. Even when they provide information they do not do so in good time and this poses a major challenge in identifying the relevant support required for different disabilities. Insistence of schools, parents/guardians on severely handicapped children to follow normal curriculum and therefore KNEC has to accommodate them in assessment is also a challenges. In the case of the physically challenged, the disabilities are diverse and giving adequate support is not always easy.
The division is also in charge of verification of examination results, replacement of certificates and equating certificates issued by other examination boards.
The National Assessment Centre
This is the hub of KNEC research activities to monitor the education system and establish factors that support or militate against meaningful learner achievement in order to address the issue of quality education. The center also coordinates activities of Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Education Quality (SACMEQ).
The Government, through the Sessional Paper No. 1 of 2005 on a Policy Framework for Education, Training and Research, established the National Assessment System for Monitoring Learner Achievement (NASMLA). The establishment of the National assessment is one of the governments initiatives aimed at safeguarding the quality of basic education. This is also one of the specifically targeted investment components in the Kenya Education Sector Support Programme (KESSP) which serve to ensure the mainstreaming of the monitoring of outcomes in the teaching and learning processes. The Centre has conducted the following research studies:
a) Investigation of challenges associated with time allocation and other related issues in papers offered to the visually impaired candidates during KCPE and KCSE Examinations. June 2003.
b) National Assessment for Monitoring Learners Achievement; Pilot Study. June 2008.
c) A study to establish a National Assessment System for Monitoring of Learner Achievement in Kenya. February 2007.
SACMEQ whose main aim is to assess and monitor learning achievement at various levels of education has immensely contributed to the efforts of the National Assessment Centre. Since the year 1995 Kenya has been a member of SACMEQ, and has fully participated in the Consortium’s activities. The milestones of this participation are successive policy research studies.
The first study known as SACMEQ I was undertaken in the year 1998 and it was baseline for subsequent phases. The second study referred to as SACMEQ II was done in 2000 and addressed literacy mathematics achievements. The SACMEQ III has an added focus on challenges associated with HIV/AIDS in our primary schools. The SACMEQ III research findings are expected not only to help teachers understand the trends in achievement levels of Standard 6 pupils as part of the required curriculum, but also to offer insights into their knowledge as well as their teacher about HIV and AIDS amongst other crucial information accorded by this study. These studies contributed well to the planning and implementation of reforms that are directed at the improvement of the quality of education.
The first National Monitoring of Learners Achievement report which focused on primary Class3 pupils’ personal, home, and school backgrounds was released in 2010. While the Class 3 study set out to determine the major determinants of the pupils’ academic achievement in Literacy and Numeracy tests the SACMEQ III research for Class 6 set out to assess the impact of the interventions put in place to address findings of Class 3 study. The results of the two studies provide an indicator of the extent to which the country has attained quality primary education. National assessment is also expected to roll out in other levels of education particularly at Form 2 in the secondary cycle. It is expected that in the not-too distant future this programme will be expanded to cover the tertiary cycles of our education system.
The Council plans to continue monitoring learner achievements regularly in order to inform education officials on intervening measures required to improve the quality of education in Kenya.
Archives and Records Section
This section was established on 1st march 1982 as a unit in Examination Administration department. Later, the unit was elevated to a section and transferred to data processing department currently known as Information Technology (ICT) department. In 2009 the section was moved to the Research division.
The section verifies/confirm or issues statements of examination results. This entails the making of a request by a client seeking a statement of examination results to be issued to a prospective employer or an institution of learning. Once the statements have been processed, they are directly dispatched to the user but not to the owner. Where a client requests for verification and confirmation of results, and a forgery case is discovered, no statement of examination results is issued; instead a letter is written to that effect.
Through this section customers whose certificates are lost, burnt or damaged are able to receive a replacement certificate. This service was started in 2009 and to date about 7,030 requests have been received and processed. The duration for processing the certificates has been reduced from the initial duration of 3 months to 2 months.
The management of KNEC examination records is conducted by this section and thus members are able to attend court cases in regards to forged examination certificates. The role of the Archives section in court cases is to provide the police with the required information when carrying out investigations. Once the police officers build up a case against a suspect, the Archives section is required to give evidence against the accused. However, if the suspect pleads guilty to the charge, evidence is therefore not required. It is important to note that it has not been easy to track down and establish the outcome of most cases because some drag in court for more than a year.
Corporate Planning Division
The division is in charge of developing, implementing and monitoring the Council strategy. It is also in charge of monitoring the Council’s development plans, calendar of activities and the performance management system including performance contracting.
Public Communications Section
Miss Frida Wameye Were, Head of Public Communications
This section was first set up as a Public Relations (PR) unit 1993. The unit anchored the Personal Assistant to the Council Secretary (CS) who also dubbed up as the head of the PR unit responsible for the publicity function of KNEC.
In September 2004, a Public Relations officer was recruited to the unit. The PR officer was also the Personal Assistant to the CS/CEO and was responsible for the publicity function of KNEC. In September 2005, the unit was elevated to a section with major responsibilities remaining the positioning of the image of KNEC positively to the general public.
In April 2009, the section was renamed Corporate Affairs and in 2011, renamed Public Communications Section to match the technological changes on the media landscape, especially in digital media as well as the changing environment under which the Council exists. The Section focuses on visibility to all stakeholders, getting the feedback from the consumers and using he feedback to provide relevant service that meets the consumers needs.
The section manages strategic communication for KNEC by coordinating the implementation of the KNEC corporate strategy and providing advisory services for mainstreaming KNEC into national policy, planning and budgeting.
The section deals with the acquisition of all Council assets, equipment and stocks. It also procures services required by the Council. The section is also responsible for disposal of all Council assets, dead stocks and obsolete items.
The section became operational in July 2011. It handles all KNEC legal matters besides advising the management of all professional legal issues. Prior to this all legal issues were handled by a legal officer on contractual basis.
Internal Audit Section
This section is in charge of carrying out financial and systems audits. Currently the section has a total of 5 senior staff members.