The Ministry of Education says it has not received any formal complaint from teachers or school heads regarding chemicals used in a Chemistry practical during this year’s Kenya Certificate Secondary Education exam.
Education PS Belio Kipsang was responding to reports that some teachers and students had fallen ill after inhaling chemical fumes during the exam taken last Thursday.
He said the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) and the Ministry of Education takes care of the safety of the learners while designing test items in national examinations.
“The same concerns guide KNEC and the Ministry when designing practical assignments in all subjects taught in Schools like Biology, Agriculture, Art and Design, Chemistry and other subjects,” the Principal Secretary noted.
Dr. Kipsang was speaking at the Westlands Sub county headquarters Tuesday where he supervised the opening and distribution of Examination scripts for Kiswahili and Religious Education subjects.
He clarified that the chemicals were the same ones students had been using during chemistry practical in regular lessons.
He said the teachers who teach Chemistry and other basic sciences are adequately trained to take care of the safety of students during teaching and when they are doing practical examinations involving chemicals approved for use in schools.
Dr. Kipsang said he himself visited several schools while students were sitting for Chemistry Practical Paper and did not receive any complaint regarding the chemical used for Chemistry practical.
The Chairman of the Principals of the Association of National Schools, Mr. Casper Maina said his members had not seen or heard anything unusual about the practical paper in Chemistry students did last week.
“Our teachers and laboratory assistants are trained on how to handle Practical subjects,” Mr. Maina said.