In Summary
  • Prof Magoha has since instructed that examination materials must not be transported to and from examination centres without the presence of security officers using government vehicles.
  • The 400 monitors deployed across the country will have express entry in the examination centres upon presentation of their monitoring badges.

A total of 1,088,986 candidates will on Tuesday start their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations in 27,809 centres across the country.

The candidates will start with rehearsals on Monday before sitting Mathematics and English Section A, Language, on Tuesday morning.

In the afternoon, they will write English Section B, Composition. On Wednesday, the candidates will sit Science, Kiswahili Lugha and Kiswahili Insha before concluding their examinations on Thursday with Social Studies and Religious Education.

From November 4, a total of 699,745 candidates will sit their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in 10,287 centres.

The KCSE examinations will end on November 27 with a total of 26,597 examiners being lined up to mark the examination, and results expected before the end of the year.

STRICT RULES

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has since instructed that examination materials must not be transported to and from examination centres without the presence of security officers using government vehicles.

“The process of opening examination papers in front of examination rooms must be witnessed by candidates, security, an invigilator and a supervisor, to ensure that no mistake is made to open the wrong scripts. This is meant to address cases where officials open scripts before the scheduled time,” said Prof Magoha.

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) will engage the services of contracted professionals, who will include 1,437 deputy county commissioners, sub-county directors of education from the Ministry of Education and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

“We will also engage 1,916 security officers, 339 sub-county examination officers, 339 TSC officers, 339 clerks and 339 data capturers in the administration of the examinations,” added Dr Mercy Karogo, Knec's acting Chief Executive Officer.

EXAM CHEATING

The council will use a total of 479 containers for storage of examination material as opposed to 459 containers used in 2018.

“The increase was due to requests from sub-county directors of education. I wish to inform you that we should limit the number of containers in order to reduce the number of people handling examinations. Increase in number of examination centres does not warrant more containers in a sub-county,” she said.

Prof Magoha has also directed centre managers to make prior arrangements with health facilities contracted under the EduAfya Health Insurance Scheme, managed by the National Hospital Insurance Fund, to ensure emergency health services for candidates are available during the examinations.

“As has been the case since 2016, the national examinations will never be leaked whatsoever, allowing all candidates to access the questions on the dates and time indicated on the timetables, which have already been published. The ministry will do everything in its power to protect the sanctity of national examinations at all times,” added the CS.

Last year, the council cancelled KCSE results for 3,427 candidates in 44 centres from 16 counties due to cheating.

SURVEILLANCE

Knec investigations, for instance, discovered cases in mathematics, where candidates had identical errors in calculations or correct responses after incorrect working; while in practicals, there were cases where a group of candidates would have identical wrong readings in science practicals.

Prof Magoha admitted that last year, where cheating occurred, rules of the examinations management had been relaxed by field officers, and this must be addressed this year.

“Working with the multisectoral team on examinations, the government will extend security surveillance around examination centres beyond the school compounds up to a radius of two kilometres. This is based on a discovery last year that some examination materials would be sneaked to teachers’ quarters, kiosks and buildings around some centres,” said the Cabinet Secretary.

He has also directed centre managers to have identification details of support staff who provide necessary services at examination centres such as catering and security.

“The aim is to curb cases where some individuals mask and style themselves as school staff providing essential services only for them to assist in collusion,” said Prof Magoha.

SAFETY

Knec has also issued tough guidelines to monitors who will be involved in administration of the examinations.

The 400 monitors deployed across the country will have express entry in the examination centres upon presentation of their monitoring badges.

Dr Karogo assured the country that all is set for the examinations and asked candidates to focus on preparation and not to be cheated to engage in irregularities.

“We cannot allow our country to go back to where we were before the drastic measures were put in place by the government in 2016, which ensured that sanity in our education system prevailed,” said Dr Karogo.

Inspector-General of Police Hilary Mutyambai has also assured the country that the National Police Service has the capacity to adequately address security challenges and facilitate the rule of law.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that law and order is maintained in order to have a safe, secure and peaceful environment for the success of the examinations,” said Mr Mutyambai.

VIGILANCE

Among counties that have been flagged as possible cheating zones are Machakos, Meru, Isiolo, Turkana, West Pokot, Kericho, Narok, Elgeyo Marakwet, Bungoma, Kisumu, Kisii, Homa Bay, Migori, Garissa, Wajir and Mandera.

Knec has directed monitors to be present at storage facilities and witness their opening on time and to ensure issuance of examination materials to centre managers is done strictly by education officers manning the storage facility.

“The monitors should ensure availability and adequate security officers manning the containers and accompanying the centre managers to their respective centres,” reads the guidelines for monitoring field officers and the conduct of the examinations that were issued Saturday.

The council has also asked the police to be extra vigilant, noting that some examination malpractices in 2018 arose as a result of examination materials being sneaked into teachers staff quarters and outside examination centres then returned after they had been manipulated.