Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) officers have been enlisted in the distribution of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) papers in the largely troubled Lamu County where militants linked to the Al Shabaab terror group have waged sporadic attacks in recent times.
The Regional Commissioner John Elung’ata said the military was part of the multi-agency team deployed to ensure that security was beefed to guarantee the integrity of the examinations and the safety of candidates and other officials involved in the exercise.
“The examination centres are safe because of the multi-agency effort we have employed. In places such as Lamu East, KDF is supporting police officers and ourselves to deliver the exams to ensure that the exams are safely administered and returned to the containers,” he stressed.
Speaking at the Kakoneni Girls Secondary School in Malindi Sub County, Kilifi County, after witnessing the distribution of examination papers at the Malindi Deputy County Commissioner’s office, Elung’ata said all examination centres in the region were secure.
He said the regional security and intelligence team had so far not received any reports regarding examination and candidates’ safety but added that the team was vigilant and would assess every situation as the days go by.
Last Friday, attackers believed to be from a terrorist organization ambushed a construction site near the Somalia border in Lamu County and killed five people, including a Chinese national, thus heightening fears among locals.
However, Elung’ata assured residents that security agents were on high alert and expressed confidence that the examinations would be administered without any hitches.
“We are confident that with the strategies in place, the examinations will be administered to the very end without any hitches,” he said.
He said a total of 52,015 candidates were sitting the 2021 KCSE examinations in all the six counties within the region, out of which 25,864 are girls and 26,151 are boys.
He said the campaign for the rights of the girl child had started bearing fruit since many more girls were sitting KCSE examinations and with the trend, gender parity would soon be achieved.
Elung’ata, who was accompanied by senior officers from Ministry of Education and the Teachers Commission in the region urged candidates to put God first and confidently write their examinations without external help.
He promised to give a reward of Sh50, 000 to the girl who would score a mean grade of ‘A’ in the examination at the Kakoneni Girls Secondary School.
By Emmanuel Masha