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Bad weather affects national exams

The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) have not taken off in 11 centres in Marsabit County owing to weather-induced challenges.

Marsabit County Commissioner Nobert Komora said the problem was occasioned by heavy rains in the region that have rendered roads impassable and made the weather unfavourable for flights.

The affected centres include Ngurunit, Mpagas, Lepandera, Ndikir, Lontolio, St. Domenic Savio Lengima, Ortolot, and Farakoren in Laisamis sub-county, as well as Jjija and Arge in Loiyangalani and Shurr primary school in Turbi-Bubisa sub-county.

In Arge and Jjija examination centres in Loiyangalani Sub-county, the candidates were inconvenienced because the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) reportedly did not do due diligence, causing a mix-up of both examination papers.

At the same time, a helicopter dispatched to ferry the examination materials failed to venture into the area due to bad weather.

Komora, who had earlier witnessed the opening of the exam container for Marsabit Central sub-county, said that the bad weather delayed the start of the exams, with the exercise kicking off at 9 a.m. in many examination centres as opposed to the 8:30 a.m. official time.

A tractor provided by the county government came in handy to pull vehicles ferrying the examination materials and officials to Kituruni, Badassa, and Leyai areas in Saku Constituency, where the ongoing rains have damaged the road network and washed away a bridge.

KNEC has registered 9,080 candidates who will be sitting for KCPE in Marsabit County, while 7,975 were enlisted for KPSEA at 176 and 216 examination centres, respectively.

Curiously, 18 candidates who had not registered for KPSEA showed up at Illeret primary and junior secondary schools in North Horr constituency, ready to sit for the exam.

The candidates, 11 boys and 7 girls, reportedly migrated with their parents across the border into Ethiopia as their families escaped the drought, missing out on the mandatory registration process for the exam.

However, they were processed by the local education and examination officials and allowed to take the exams.

This followed a directive by the Ministry of Education through an announcement made by the principal secretary, Dr. Belio Kipsang, that unregistered candidates who show up at an examination centre be allowed to sit for the respective examinations.

The exercise attracted 41 private KCPE candidates, including 27 females and 14 males, while 3 candidates who have a conflict with the law are doing their examinations at the Moyale GK prison.

The exercise kicked off with the government ensuring measures to make sure that the exams were conducted in an enabling environment.

Komora, who was accompanied by the county police commander Patrick Mwakio and the county director of education Joseph Maki, warned of stern action against anybody found attempting to circumvent the laid-down procedures, adding that the exercise should be administered in an integrity manner.

He added that helicopters were being deployed to assist in accessing and distributing exams in areas cut off by rain, and modalities were being worked out to navigate the bad weather conditions.

Examination officials, security personnel, and candidates braved the chilly weather to attend to the noble duty.

By Sebastian Miriti

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