Parents with candidates sitting for their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams in March 2022 will have to dig deeper into their pockets to facilitate the learners.
This is after the High Court sitting in Nairobi allowed the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) to merge exam centres with less than 30 candidates.
Parents and guardians will now have to foot additional transport costs amid worries about students' safety.
Justice Anthony Mrima dismissed the petition by parents stating that the petitioner failed to challenge a circular that was issued in July 2021.
He further explained that even if the court stopped three earlier circulars issued in May and June, the July circular was acceptable to accord the necessary guidelines on the joint hosting of the exams.
"The July circular was to give fresh instructions on the joint hosting of examination centres. It is a stand-alone communication and it speaks clearly on what the addresses are to do," Justice Mrima stated.
"Quashing the circulars, in the unique circumstances of this case, will be an exercise in futility. It will yield to nothing as the joint hosting of the examination centres will still be undertaken on the basis of the July circular. This court declines that invitation."
A petition had been filed at the High Court after KNEC made the announcement. The petitioner argued that parents were burdened with the high cost of living and merging exam centres would affect students from marginalized areas.
KNEC told the court that the exam centres merger would enhance the security and safety of candidates and examiners, address transport challenges, cut rising administration costs and maintain the integrity of examinations.
However, the petitioner David Wanyeki Kago had challenged KNEC arguing there was no public participation and parents were not consulted before the directive was issued in July.
Kago also complained that KNEC had issued numerous and contradictory flyers between May and July 2021 on the consolidation of exam centres.
Meanwhile, Grades 3, 4 and 5 in primary schools began national tests as part of their continuous assessment.