In Summary
  • Cabinet and some government functions brought to a standstill as the executive pulls all stops to stop cheating.
  • CS Macharia told journalists that the exams saw them abandon a planned Cabinet meeting.
  • CS Kobia said the executive would be on the ground during the entire exam period to stop cheats and exam cartels.

The ongoing Standard Eight national exams have brought Cabinet and some government functions to a standstill as the executive pulls all stops to stop cheating.

On Tuesday, almost the entire Cabinet abandoned its policy formulation role to oversee dispatch of exam papers across the country.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha was in Mombasa, Najib Balala of Tourism in the capital Nairobi, Transport CS James Macharia (Murang’a), Public Service CS Margaret Kobia (Meru), Interior CS Fred Matiang’i (Nakuru) while his ICT counterpart Joe Mucheru was in Nyeri.

Besides Cabinet secretaries, the three-day exercise also saw principal secretaries and chief administrative officers abandon their offices to open exam containers that act as stores.

MOTIVATION

Mr Macharia told journalists that the exams saw them abandon a planned Cabinet meeting.

"This is a serious exercise and to show the government commitment, we cancelled the Cabinet meetings to monitor the exams around the country,” he said in Kigumo.

“We are moulding the future leaders and that is why we are taking the whole process with the seriousness it deserves.”

Apart from ensuring that the tests are administered well, Mr Macharia they had also come out “to motivate pupils”.

STOPPING CARTELS

In Meru, Public Service Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia reiterated the government’s commitment to ensuring credible tests by sealing all the loopholes for cheating.

She said the government was keen on ensuring Kenya's exams are globally competitive and guarantee local scholars admission to world class universities across the globe.

Speaking in Buuri, Prof Kobia said the executive would be on the ground during the entire exam period to stop cheats and exam cartels.

“We want to ensure our examinations remains globally competitive so that any child who does examination in Kenya and goes to another country, no one would doubt their credentials,” she said.

“That is why, all of us, right from the President, we have said we will leave our offices to give you (education officials) support. The real work is yours.”

HITCHES

A total of 1,088,986 candidates are writing the tests that mark their transition to secondary schools in 27,809 centers across the country.

Overall, the tests started smoothly, with candidates writing mathematics paper from 8.30am.

However, transport hitches delayed the exams in several counties in Coast, North Eastern Kenya and parts of Rift Valley.

Reporting by Harry Misiko, Ndung’u Gachane, Charles Wanyoro, Mishi Gongo and Regina Kinogu.