It’s all systems go as 1.2m learners start KCPE today

Monday, March 7th, 2022 04:00 | By
Giligil Academy KCPE candidates rehearse on Friday ahead of today’s start of exams. RAPHAEL MUNGE

All is set as the 1.2 million 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates start their national exams this morning with the Mathematics paper.

 Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr David Njengere said that all is ready and the Government is following keenly on areas that recently had insecurity issues to ensure the exam is taken without any disruptions.

“Everything is ready and the exam starts today at 8.30am. We had insecurity issues in parts of Rift Valley, especially Baringo but the Regional Commander and Regional Director of Education have addressed the situation. We are in touch with them so that we can stop anything from jeopardizing the exam process,” said Njengere yesterday.

The CEO, who wished all candidates well in their papers, will lead in opening of exam container in Nairobi West, which is to be opened at 6.30am instead of the previous 6.00am.

According to Njengere, this is part of taming any form of early exposure, which is expected to reduce time invigilators have from container to exam centre and will also be less time to 8.30am, the official start time.

Separately, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said that a sizeable number of invigilators have been well trained but warned a small percentage of teachers out to make money out of the exam exercise.

He said the Ministry and KNEC is able to pick instances of early exposure of the papers while marking, which leads to disqualifying results.

“Unfortunately for them, we are watching them even in their telegram groups. The challenge comes when they take two papers in the morning. They corrupt and send it to social networks and then start the paper two or three hours later but the child is already in the exam hall… By the time they give them a stolen paper, it is useless because there are policemen everywhere and all this does is confuse children,” the CS said.

Security challenges

Magoha said the early exposure by a very small fraction of invigilators is the only gap the Ministry has at the moment but insisted that all papers are sacrosanct.

Saying all exam stakeholders are fully in control, Magoha stated that no paper has leaked and over 200,000 invigilators and more than 45,000 security agents have been contracted for the exercise.

“If the container is near an exam centre, there is no reason why the principal should be given the exam two hours earlier, they can be given the papers at about half an hour to exam time. Our instruction was that containers should be opened at 6.30am not at 6am,” said the CS.

He said that the exams are already in the container and even though cartels are very active to interfere with the process ‘they will get nothing’.

“Candidates should not be hoodwinked because the exams will be opened at the right time. The way the brain works, it is better you respect it and allow it to remember what it can and you will do very well,” he advised.

He urged those tasked to pick exams from the container to keep time saying that helicopters are on stand by, especially in areas where there are security challenges to ensure exams are delivered to the centre and back to the container.

 At the same time, Magoha has warned that no politician will be allowed to enter any public or private learning institutions from today, until all the 2021 national exams are completed.

Magoha banned all politicians from holding rallies and or touring the schools until the exams are completed.

While making the strict remarks after inspecting Class Eight pupils’ preparedness at Kimunyu Primary School in Gatundu South, Magoha upheld that until all the exam materials are transported to the command and control centre in Nairobi, all schools are out of bounds for all politicians.

“We are making an absolute ban and politicians will only be allowed within the school premises after all exams are done and materials transported back to Embakasi in Nairobi,” he said.

Magoha who advised politicians to alternatively hire stadiums constructed across the country upheld that the candidates must be allowed to sit exams in a friendly and serene environment devoid of politicking.

“There will be no exemptions here and I have briefed the President whom we are together in this. If you try, you will face the full force of law. Children have a right to sit exams in a conducive environment and that we have guaranteed to offer,” he warned.

The CS also assured that centre managers who have been consolidated to manage exams elsewhere will be fairly remunerated.

“I am hearing a lot of noise, maybe because of money. We may not pay them to the level we are paying real centre managers but they will be paid a token,” he added.

KCPE centres will be served from 491 distribution containers while Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) centres will be served from 483 distribution centres.

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