The government has deployed massive security across the country as Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCPE) kicked off in various centres.
In Mandera security has been enhanced in schools along the border with Somalia to curb any interference by criminal gangs, especially Al Shabaab.
The Mandera County Director of Education, Abdihamid Maalim said examination material will be airlifted to four centres that are facing security challenges or inaccessible roads due to the heavy downpour currently being experienced in the region.
An aircraft is available round the clock at the local military camp to respond to any eventuality, Abdihamid told the Press in Mandera East at the start of the examination in the area which has 55 schools with 2,174 candidates.
Meanwhile, two candidates in Mandera will not sit for the test, as one died on Monday and another one fled to neighbouring Bulla Hawa town in Somalia for fear of the exams.
The Mandera Arid Zone Supervisor, Abdikarim Mohamed said they will carry on with the examinations without the pupil who flew to Somalia.
In Busia, the Western Regional Director of Education, Steven Barongo warned that those intending to interfere with the exercise will face the full force of the law.
Area County Commissioner (CC), Jacob Narengo expressed confidence that security officers deployed at the various centres will ensure that the exercise runs smoothly.
The County has registered a total of 23,468 candidates for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination, spread across 419 examination centres.
The Baringo County Police Commander, Robinson Ndiwa, says the Rapid Deployment Unit, the General Service Unit and Anti Stock Theft Unit of the Police are offering additional security in Baringo South and North to carter for any unforeseen threats as the KCPE starts in the area.
The units have been deployed to areas like Chemorongion, Kasiela, Kagir, Loruk, Chepilaat, Arabalnand Mukutani which are always prone to the banditry attacks.
Dispatching the papers on Tuesday morning at the Kabarnet KNEC container the County Director of Education, Moses Karati assured of a smooth process free from any incidence.
“Of the 16,734 candidates in our county only have two cases of students who will sit outside their registered centres, these are two boys one who is in remand in Nyahururu and another one in Mediheal Hospital Nakuru,” said the official.
He however, said the two will undergo the examinations as they will be served from the nearby sub-counties.
There are however, fears that that the examination may not reach Kiserian Primary School on time after the Ngambo Secondary bus which was tasked to transport the materials and the personnel got stuck in R5 area of Baringo south due to poor road.
While acknowledging the incident Baringo South Sub-County Commissioner, Job Anunda said they had dispatched additional vehicles to assist in ferrying the exams to the centre.
The Isiolo Deputy County Commissioner (CC), Mohamed Maow has directed Examination officials to keep off Beer and Miraa until the examinations are over.
Maow said the government would not tolerate any activities that can compromise the credibility of the national examinations in the country.
“Officials who will be found drunk or under drugs’ and alcohol influence during the examination exercise or be involved in any form of indiscipline will be dealt with according to the code of regulations,” Maow warned.
Speaking to invigilators, supervisors, centre managers and security officers during the opening of a container for safekeeping of KCPE question papers early this morning, Maow reminded the exam officials to strictly stick to the laid down regulations that would deter any irregularities.
He said that enough security officers were deployed to all centres and warned against movement into school compounds by non-exam officials.
The administrator said that security and education officers would be patrolling all exam centres from morning to evening and challenged chiefs to also closely monitor situation in their areas of jurisdiction.
By Dickson Githaiga