, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 21 – Thousands of Form IV students started their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) on Thursday, without any reported hitches.
Some of the 358,000 students who spoke to Capital News expressed confidence that they would excel in the examinations which mark the end of their secondary education.
In Nakuru, Rift Valley Provincial Education Director (PED) Beatrice Adu said 78,695 candidates who had registered were ready for the examinations, and the figure was an increase by 3,997 candidates compared with last year’s 74,698 candidates who sat the exams.
"This is because of the increasing number of day schools funded by the government through Constituency Development Fund (CDF) which are cheaper compared with boarding schools," she explained.
The PDE said the exams centres had not encountered any problem as the exam materials had been delivered on time.
Mrs Adu said that the ongoing rains in the expansive province had also not affected the examination distribution.
She said that examinations rooms will be thoroughly searched and students to be frisked before entering the examination room to avoid cheatings.
In Nyanza, the PED Geoffrey Cherongis said the exam papers were distributed in time to all the schools.
Mr Cherongis said the government had hired boats and motorcycles to transport papers to schools within Lake Victoria Islands and areas which are not easily accessible.
The schools are in Nyageta Island in Bondo district and several others in Mfangano Island in Mbita district.
The director noted that measures that were put in place to curb cheating will drastically reduce such cases in the province that was ranked as the most notorious in last year\’s examinations.
A spot check at Joel Omino Secondary School indicated that the examinations started at exactly 8am likewise to Kisumu Girl\’s High School amongst others.
At the Coast province, there are 18,658 candidates sitting the exams.
Coast Provincial Director of Education Tom Majani said the number of candidates had risen up by 12.6 per cent compared to last year.
Majani said the number of boys was still high at 10,843 compared to 7,815 girls of the total registered candidates.
The education boss speaking during the distribution of examination papers to various districts at Mbaraki Police line in Mombasa, which was done under tight security.
He said there were enough distribution centres and examinations centres and this year the region had not been affected by previous cases of delay due to rainfall.
He said the number of private candidates stands at 870 with 520 boys and 350 girls respectively.
“The retention rate at secondary schools level for female candidates is minimal but the drop is due to early marriage, poverty sex tourism, orphanage and non-conducive learning environmental status,” said the PDE.
Mr Majani assured stakeholders that they had put enough machinery and logistics to see that the examination takes place without any hiccups and warned exam cheaters of dire consequences.