Kiambu Education stakeholders braved the morning rains to ensure that the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) main examinations that began Monday arrive in time at the examination centres.
Officials from the Ministry of Education arrived at various exam collection centres early in the morning to oversee the distribution of exam materials.
Speaking in Kiambu County after witnessing the opening of the exam container at the Deputy County Commissioners offices, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr. David Njengere said this year will have the largest number of candidates.
The Country has over 903,260 students who are sitting for this year’s examination and there are 567 National Exam Containers.
The CEO added that this year’s examination will for the first time see the double collection meaning that morning papers will be released first in the morning while the second batch for afternoon session will be collected after the first session papers have been returned to collection centres.
He acknowledged that the biggest challenge especially in last year’s KCSE was early exposure of the second session papers but now the government is implementing a new rule where collection of the exam papers will be two-fold.
The centre managers, he explained, will have to return the morning scripts to the container after the first session papers and in turn collect the second session paper at 12.30 so that they will administer that paper at 2.00 pm.
“We want to make sure that at the school level, the center manager and the supervisor, coordinate efficiently so that the paper ends immediately, returned and second session papers are collected and taken to the centres in time. Efficiency will be very important”, he emphasized.
Dr. Njengere further said that another challenge they will address is that of the phones noting that only centre Managers will be allowed to have mobile phones.
“All other phones should be kept in the center managers’ offices. We aim to ensure credibility of our examination and no one should misconstrue and say that the government want to punish secondary school head teachers. The cooks, the security people you have at the gate, no one should have a phone in the school”, he said.
The CEO has appealed to Centre Managers who are carrying and distributing the examination papers not to take any risk and to be very careful at this time when the country is experiencing heavy rains.
“We have seen clips that have been running on social media, some people trying to cross rivers. Please if there is a river between point A and point B, please don’t try to be a hero you would rather wait or send a distress call to our call center so that we can help you out,” he warned
He gave the 24-hour toll-free call center of 0800 724 900 that anyone can call if anyone encounters a problem or even if a member of the public wishes to report on anything that concern examinations.
“Every centre manager has the rules and regulations. I also sent a letter to every candidate sitting this examination and explained to them very clearly our expectations of what they should do to avoid malpractices and the sanctions there in the event of any malpractices”, he emphasized.
He wished all candidates well in their examination and thanked Kiambu County Schools noting that they also host the marking of the examinations
Kiambu County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha said they have deployed enough security in all the examination centres and that there is no cause for worry.
“In the previous years we have had some arrests in various schools in the area , but this time we have engaged all the stakeholders in the area and there is peace” Nkanatha.
Kiambu County Director of Education Mr. Simon Wanjohi said the County has 15 containers for the examinations and over 37,000 KCSE students in Kiambu who will be sitting for the exams across 370 examination centres across the County.
“We have put everything in order to ensure that our exams go on well and that no one is disadvantaged. We have also made adequate arrangements in terms of transport and sensitized all centre managers and security personnel “, he said
All the KCSE session examination papers will start at 8.00 a.m. and second session examination papers will start at 2.00 pm as indicated on the timetable.
The exams run until November 24.