Lands Cabinet Secretary Zachariah Njeru has assured that security officials are closely monitoring Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams, which kicked off Monday morning, to curb any interference.
He said the KCPE exams had started full gear and all preparations had been put in place to protect the integrity of the exams and avert cases of cheating during the tests. “All the centre managers have been sensitised on the need to uphold high standards of integrity to ensure that the process is not compromised,” Njeru said.
The Cabinet Secretary who spoke in Nakuru added that the government has taken a multi-sectoral approach in the management of the examinations as all state departments were taking part in the exercise.
“We are here to give an assurance to the country that we are well prepared for this year’s examinations. The entire government including my colleagues in the Cabinet will take part in the exercise,” he observed.
This year, candidates will sit for three national examinations- the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) for Grade 6 pupils.
The Cabinet Secretary who also visited Bondeni Primary School warned that security officials were on high alert to deal with interference cases and cheating. He said he would be making random visits to other examination centres in the region to check on the progress of the exams.
He asked officers who are manning the examinations to follow the set guidelines in the administration of the tests and said he expected centre managers and security officers to relate well to ensure learners write their exams in a conducive environment.
A total of 59,795 learners from the devolved unit are scheduled to sit for their final Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) out of which 50,425 are drawn from public schools and 9,370 from private institutions
Overall 57,816 candidates will sit Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) in the in the 11 Sub Counties across Nakuru including 48,531 from public schools and 9,285 from private facilities. Some 47,664 candidates will sit for their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations out of whom 39, 996 are drawn from public schools while 7,698 are registered in private facilities.
The County has over 1,500 examination centers.
The CS affirmed that the government had put in place stringent measures to ensure smooth administration of the exams, and stated that, for instance, police officers will be required to sign an accountability document to safeguard the integrity of the papers as part of a campaign to prevent exam leaks.
Similarly, no private vehicles will be allowed to ferry exam materials from the containers to the exam centres.
Area County Commissioner Mr. Gilbert Kitiyo said so far they have not faced any challenges in terms of logistics and personnel.
He indicated that security agencies had mapped out all areas in the County and were working closely with sub-county education officers who are on the ground to ensure the success of the examinations.
“We have deployed enough security officers to the exam centers in all the 11 Sub-Counties. We don’t expect any problem or any challenge during this exercise,” said Kitiyo, and wished candidates well, stating that they have been well prepared.
“We want to wish all candidates the very best in their exams, we know they have worked hard for the last eight or six years, depending on the exams they are sitting for,” added Kitiyo.
Today, KCPE candidates will sit for three papers; Mathematics, English language and composition while their KPSEA counterparts will take Mathematics and English Language.
Tomorrow, KPSEA candidates will sit their Integrated Science and Kiswahili papers while KCPE candidates will have Science, Kiswahili and Insha papers.
While KPSEA learners will take Creative Arts and Social Studies on the third and last day, KCPE candidates will be sitting their Social Studies and Religious Education papers. Other than Composition and Insha, all the other papers comprise of multiple-choice questions.
Kitiyo banned “outsiders” from setting their foot in or near examination centers. “Anybody who is not a candidate, centre manager, supervisor, security officer or an education officer is an outsider. Let us act firmly in the interest of our children, anyone who breaches any aspect of examination will be apprehended,” he said.
He assured candidates that enough transportation arrangements had been put in place to ensure examination papers, invigilators, supervisors and security personnel reach all centers.
The County Commissioner warned, “We will arrest any individual possessing or purporting to have examination materials before scheduled time.”
By Jane Ngugi and Dennis Rasto