The three day Kenya certificate of primary education (KCPE) examinations exercise efficiently came to a close yesterday in Marsabit county with 40 candidates missing out on the exams.
Education Chief Administrative Secretary (CAS) Mumina Bonaya has also challenged the relevant authorities to address the manipulation of age for girls by parents out to marry them at tender age.
Ms Bonaya who supervised the national exercise in the county said despite the application of the exams having run smoothly, 40 candidates out of the 5,469 registered entrants in the county missed out.
Ms Bonaya said that 24 boys and 16 girls did not show up with reports indicating that moranism and early marriages was to blame with the bulk of the cases coming from Laisamis constituency.
The CAS added that efforts to reverse the trend were on-going but pointed out that adherence to retrogressive customary practices among local pastoralist communities was of great concern.
She advised parents to value the future of their children and cooperate with the government in returning victims of teenage pregnancies back to school.
The CAS lamented that issuance of fake birth certificates to underage girls was frustrating law enforcement agents in taking legal action against perpetrators of the vice.
Bonaya who gave a briefing about the examination in the county called on the concerned authorities to come up with a mechanism of detecting manipulation of age of girls which was bent on defeating justice.
While lauding the officials charged with administering the exams in the county for handling the exercise with due diligence, the CAS said the adherence to Covid-19 protocols at the 164 examination centres was commendable.
The number of 2020 KCPE candidates in Marsabit County increased by 648 compared to the 2019 which registered 4,821 candidates following sustained campaigns by the government and other stakeholders.
Lack of good road network and security concerns saw the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) distribute the examination materials to remote areas of North Horr, Dukana, Hurri Hills, Maikona and Kalacha, KNEC using helicopters.
By Sebastian Miriti