March national exams preparations on course

Wednesday, January 27th, 2021 00:00 | By
Pupils taking their Form Four exams at last year’s national examination Photo/PD/FILE

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) assured yesterday that preparations to administer national examinations in March are well on course to ensure a smooth process.

The Government intends to use massive human resource personnel for supervision and invigilation purposes, the number estimated at over 286,000 compared to about 170,000 in 2019.

Reports indicate that the process of nominating supervision and invigilation personnel for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams is underway and will be completed by end of next month.

“An estimated 286,000 field officers will be engaged on agency basis to facilitate in the conduct of exams in the field.

The field officers contracted for administration of exams will be expected to register online using the contracted professional CP2 system by February 25,” read a five-page document highlighting preparedness to administer the national examinations.

KNEC also assured that it is in the process of receiving data of examination centres that closed down during the recess and number of candidates affected to enable further decision-making and planning from the Sub-County Directors of Education (SCDE).

Examination centres

Knec also stated that the number of students and examination centres had risen compared to 2019.

Compared to 2019 which had 27,809  centres, the number rose to 28,451 in 2020 for KCPE while the candidature had increased from 1.088 million the previous year to about 1.2 million in  2020.

On the other hand, the candidature for KCSE increased from 699,745 to over 752,000 who are to sit for their exams in 10,437 centres compared to 10,287 centres in 2019.

The number of special needs students sitting for their KCPE in March is 2,689 while those writing their KCSE are 1,891.

“Knec has prepared examinations for students with different disabilities namely the blind, low vision, hearing impairment and the physically challenged so that they will not be inconvenienced during the exam,” the document added.

Knec also stated that a toll free line will be provided to head teachers and Principals to convey any communication on emerging issues that will require the Council’s intervention on issues affecting students with special needs during the examination.

Similarly, Knec will use 479 containers to store KCPE examinations and 468 for KCSE, spread across all sub-counties in the country. 

The containers are located in the Deputy County Commissioners’ (DCC) premises and in vast counties, additional containers have been installed in Assistant County Commissioners (ACC) premises.

To ensure security, the containers will have a double locking system and the DCC/ACC and SCDE will be the only authorized officers to open and close the examination storage facilities.

“The 2020 examinations are being administered under unprecedented circumstances brought about by Covid-19 pandemic.

The pandemic led to closure of schools for the better part of 2020 and postponement of national examinations,” the document stated.

“That notwithstanding, there are other pertinent emerging issues which might affect the field administration of exams which includes adverse weather conditions due to examinations being administered during the long rain season, insecurity in some areas and flooding of major rivers and lakes as well as schools’ unrest,” read the document.

Despite the emerging issues, Knec assured that everything is under control and all learners will sit for their exams as expected and the expected professional standards for administration of exams will be observed to the letter.  

Prolonged closure

Education CS Prof George Magoha issued new exam dates owing to prolonged closure of schools and subsequent interference of academic calendar.

He said that Class 8 students will sit for their exams from March 22 to 24 while KCSE will be taken between March 25 - April 21.

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