KCSE oral and practical exams kick off

Tuesday, October 22nd, 2019 07:59 | By
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha with Education PS Belio Kipsang and Knec Acting CEO Mercy Karogo. Photo/TABITHA MBATIA

The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination has officially commenced amid stringent measures and penalties to curb cheating and leakages.

And despite Monday being a public holiday, students sat their scheduled oral and practical exams.

Music practical started on Monday, with each candidate expected to take at least 15 minutes per subject.

“The orals have started, everything is going on well, arising issues are being addressed. Up to now the exams are safe and we expect all involved to do what they are expected,” acting Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) chief executive Dr Mercy Karogo said yesterday.

Last week, Education Cabinet secretary Prof George Magoha assured that tough penalties have been put in place, including instant interdiction and sacking of any government official under whose jurisdiction any vice will take place.

‘There are still a few crooks out there, but no exam will be seen until the morning of the examination. We know the tricks they have employed and our surveillance team will go up to two kilometres from the exam centre,” he warned.

Over the weekend, Lukenya Assistant County Commissioner Elizabeth Karitu was arrested after losing keys of the examinations container in Machakos.

Knec will use 479 containers to store examination materials as opposed to 459 last year. Four police officers are to be assigned to every container in 28,000 distribution centres across the country, with two working during the day and two at night.

“There is nothing like delegating the key to exam containers to someone else. You will have the key and you will not delegate your powers,” Magoha added.


This week will also see students take their French, German, and Arabic oral papers as well as the Kenya Sign Language.

Home Science Practical Planning session (foods and nutrition), including for large print and braille will be taken on Thursday. Practical for the three categories will then be undertaken next week on Tuesday and to Thursday.

This will then be followed by rehearsals, expected to take place on November 1.

Consequently, all KCSE students will start writing their exams on November 4 with the English Functional skills paper.

Rehearsals for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) will be taken on October 28.

In total, 1.8 million students will sit for their exam this year, with 1,088,986 doing their KCPE in 27,809 centres and another 699,745 sitting for  KCSE in 10,287 centres.

Curb malpractice

Schools close for holidays this Friday to allow for peaceful administration of national examinations in addition to curbing malpractice.

Agriculture, Computer Studies, Art and Design, Woodwork, Metalwork and Building Construction projects were undertaken between January and July.

This year, 28,000 Teachers Service Commission (TSC) licensed school heads will play the role of centre managers with another 145,429 teachers executing the role of supervisors and invigilators.

A further 33,720 will be involved in marking of both the KCPE and KCSE, bringing the total to 179,149 the number of teachers who will be involved in administration of examinations this year.

TSC has urged Knec not to involve any teacher linked to any examination irregularity, adding that it will continue to take disciplinary action against culprits. 

Cartons and polythene bags containing KCSE Chemistry practical materials are to be collected on November 7.

Dr Karogo said this is meant to allow centre managers to collect the substances for their respective examination centres. 

“Absolute care and confidentiality should be upheld throughout the setting up of the laboratory...,” she added.

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