It is all systems go for national exams

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The government has put in place all arrangements including the Covid-19 protocols for effective and successful administration of national exams.

Government spokesperson Col. (Rtd) Cyrus Oguna said that examination centres have been established across the country, including areas such as Kapedo and Merti that have been experiencing security challenges.

“Examinations will be conducted across the country even in areas affected by rising water levels in the lakes and in Kapedo and Merti which are some of the safest places in Kenya right now, after the security operations that took place there recently and therefore I would like to give the assurance that there is no student who will be denied the opportunity to seat the exams because of insecurity,” said Oguna.

Speaking during media briefing at the government media centre Tuesday, Oguna explained that in the areas affected by rising lakes levels like Baringo the students were transferred to other facilities and registered there and they will be able to seat for exams there just like any other students.

“As you may recall, suspension of learning countrywide was effected from 16th March, 2020 as part of the Covid-19 containment measures. This was followed, seven months later, by gradual opening of schools during which examination classes, that is lass 8, Form 4 and Grade 4 were allowed back in school from 12th October, 2020,” explained Oguna.

He added that subsequently, on January 4, 2021, schools re-opened for all classes and learning has been going on since then.

“Despite the disruption in learning brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic, our resilience as a country was demonstrated when learning was re-started, and here we are now, ready to administer national exams to Class 8 and Form 4 candidates. This is an achievement that we should be proud of as a country, particularly when some quarters had predicted doom,” said Oguna.

He explained that the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) started on March 8 with the practical’s and will run until April 21, 2021 for the candidate population of 752,981 spread across 28,437 exam centres.

“The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) will start on March 22 and run up to March 24, 2021 and the candidate population is 1,191,725 spread across 10,437exam centres,” said Oguna.

The government spokesperson added that no candidate will be denied seating the exams due to unpaid school fees.

“Administering exams is a multi-agency activity that brings together different agencies and stakeholders, with the sole purpose of ensuring success and efficiency during exam period. Among the infrastructure that have been set up include the establishment of command and control centre to facilitate ease of communication and response during the examination period. Necessary logistics have also been put in place to ensure that exams activity goes on uninterrupted,” explained Oguna.

He insisted that the examinations shall be conducted under strict adherence to Covid-19 protocols and the government has put in all measure to ensure that the students are protected from Covid-19 by availing sanitisation points and facemasks for the students.

“We are in a pandemic season and it is not unusual for a student to contract Covid-19 even during the exam period, to handle this, the government has instructed all schools to have an isolation centre within the school compound which will allow a student to continue doing exams even while in isolation,” explained Oguna.

Oguna said that the government has been able to mobilise all resources that pertain to efficient management and administration of the examinations and there is nothing that has been left to chance and everything has been put in order.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank the teachers who have worked, sometimes under very difficult circumstances to prepare our candidates for these exams. It is because of them that we are here today,” said Oguna.

“We would like to thank parents and guardians for their support, and the willingness in complying with government directive not to visit schools, right from the date of gradual opening of schools till now. This is the spirit that learning requires. The directive is still in force, and we continue to appeal for cooperation, particularly at this time of exams. Indeed, anyone found attempting to undermine the integrity of the exams shall be dealt with accordingly,” highlighted Oguna.

The Spokesperson said that the government understands that students were out of school for even months as he assured them that the exams are set for average students and most of Kenyan students are beyond average and they will be able to post positive results.

by Joseph Ng’ang’a

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