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Boats to distribute exams in flood-prone areas

The government has placed measures to use boats to distribute national examination papers in flood-prone areas of Budalangi in Busia County.

Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Principal Secretary Susan Mang’eni told a press briefing after presiding over the distribution of the papers that the government had taken into account the challenges of the flooding in Busia County and set up a boat team to ferry the examination by boat.

She said the boat team was set to move into action in places like Budalang’i in Bunyala sub-county and Akiramasi areas in Teso North sub-county that were prone to flooding.

She announced the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) exam containers at the Deputy County Commissioner’s offices in Amagoro, Teso North Sub County.

“As a government, we are well prepared to ensure exams are done without a hitch. We have all the machinery that will ensure all students get their exams on time.”

The PS took the opportunity to wish candidates from the country and Western region the best of luck in the exams, which commenced today at 8:30 a.m.

Mang,eni warned centre managers against indulging in exam malpractice, as those found will face disciplinary measures as prescribed in the law.

“Schools should shun any temptations of exam cheating. Engaging in exam malpractices is tantamount to cheating pupils’ careers,” she said, urging them to follow what the government has recommended by doing exams with zero cheating.

“I want to applaud our teachers for their effort to prepare this year’s candidates. It’s my humble hope that the exams will avail us of future leaders in social-economic and political spheres,” she said, adding that the two exams for standard eight and grade six are used to validate what candidates have done for the past eight and six years, respectively.

Her sentiments were echoed by Busia County Commissioner Kipchumba Ruto, who said the government has put elaborate measures in place to ensure exam papers reach schools despite the terrain.

“We have organised exam papers for two centres in Bunyala South Ward to be picked up from Bondo in Siaya Sub County, while those for schools in the Sigulu Islands on Lake Victoria will be delivered by a Kenya Coast Guards Services boat,” noted Ruto.

With the ongoing rains in Busia, it’s expected that some parts of Budalangi will face a few logistic hiccups.

According to the County Director of Education, Mr. James Ekaliyo, Busia has 31,500 candidates sitting for KCPE exams and 30,780 candidates for KPSEA exams in 507 centres across the county.

The PS later toured Kakurikit Primary School, which was recently ravaged by heavy winds that blew the roofs off classrooms. She also wanted to know the aftermath of the incident for the pupils and teachers.

The CDE urged school heads or centre managers to allow KPSEA candidates whose names, for one reason or another,  are not appearing in the nominal roll or have failed to register to sit for the exams.

Mr. Ruto warned those found culpable of engaging in exam malpractices of dire consequences, adding that no stone will be left unturned on cases of irregularities and malpractices, if any.

On the traffic along the busy Malaba highway, Mang’eni said President Ruto will visit Malaba before the end of this year to ascertain the best solution to the traffic snarl-up witnessed along Malaba-Bungoma, which is hampering trade in the border town that is the gateway to East and Central Africa.

She noted that the national government is working on expanding the road for ease of trade and to boost revenue collection.

Others present included County Quality Assurance and Standards Officer William Makori, Teso North Sub County Director of Education Elizabeth Marangach, Teso North DCC Stephen Wambura, and senior county police officers.

By Absalom Namwalo

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