The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations kicked off smoothly in Nakuru County on Monday morning, amid tight measures to curb cheating.
A total of 54,751 candidates are sitting the examinations in 1,061 centres according to County Commissioner Erastus Mbui Mwenda.
Speaking when he supervised the opening of examination containers at Kapkures Deputy County Commissioner’s offices, Mbui said a total of 2,122 security personnel had been deployed to man the examination centres in all the 11 sub-counties.
“The security officers are expected to guard the papers both in examination centres and the containers at the county and sub county levels.
They will also accompany head teachers who also double up as centre managers to collect the exam papers from the storage containers every morning and in the evening when the papers are returned to the containers for collection,” stated Mr Mwenda.
He assured parents and candidates that a command centre has been set up at county headquarters from where all security operations will be monitored and coordinated.
The administrator warned that the government had tighten surveillance to stop possible use of face masks and other gadgets to facilitate cheating and early exposure of the exam papers.
Meanwhile Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has said that high level security teams have been deployed in the volatile spots in Baringo, Turkana, Laikipia, Samburu and Elgeyo Marakwet ahead of the KCPE examinations.
He dismissed fears that ongoing heavy rains in some parts of the region might disrupt the examinations adding that the government was adequately prepared.
Addressing the press after touring several examination centres in Nakuru, Natembeya said counties with potential flooding challenges that might require special attention had been mapped out.
A total of 330,000 candidates will sit for the three-day exam in Rift Valley Region that starts with Mathematics on Monday morning. English language and Composition tests are scheduled for mid-morning and afternoon respectively.
On Tuesday, the candidates will tackle Science, Kiswahili and Insha before completing the test with Social Studies and Christian Religious Education on Wednesday.
Natembeya confirmed that all the candidates from over 10 Schools flooded with water from Lakes Baringo and Bogoria had been successfully relocated to other examination centres to ensure they do not miss KCPE.
Some of the affected schools are Loruk, Sokotei, Ng’ambo, Kiserian, Salabani and Lake Baringo. Others are Ng’enyin, Noosukro, Rugus, Lorok, Leswa, Sintaan and Lake Bogoria Primary Schools.
He also stated that all the candidates from a primary school in Marishioni within Njoro Sub-County, which was demolished during evictions from Eastern Mau Forest, will write their examinations at the nearby Daraja Primary School.
The Regional Commissioner affirmed that all students including those that are pregnant, the sick, and disabled, would be given special treatment to ensure they comfortably sit for the national exams without any problems.
“Any child who has the capacity to sit for the exams, the government will ensure that the examination is taken to the child. Those who have given birth and are still breastfeeding will be allowed to come along with their children whereby they will be allocated appropriate environments.
We have advised school managers to support the girls in cases of emergencies by taking them to nearby dispensaries,” he disclosed.
By Anne Mwale