NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 24 – National examinations for primary and secondary schools have been pushed by three weeks to recover time lost during the teacher’s strike that formally ended on Monday morning.
The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) oral exams will now start on the October 15, while the Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) will kick off on December 4 and end on December 6.
KCSE practicals will be held between October 25 and 30 while theory papers will be taken between November 12 and December 11.
Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo told journalists in his office that the marking and processing of KCSE results is expected to be done between December 13 and April 16 while that of KCPE will be held between December 7 and January 25.
Kilonzo said: “Consultations have been held with the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC), the ministry and the Teachers Service Commission and we have agreed that there will be new examinations dates to allow all children cover the areas of syllabus that they may not have covered as a result of the strike.”
Kilonzo says schools will close for the third term on November 23, and re-open on February 4 next year for first term of 2013.
The second term next year will begin on the June 3 and end on September 6 while the third term will run from September 30 to November 29.
The new examination dates are expected to be gazetted on Tuesday.
The minister insisted that the general elections scheduled for March 4 and a possible run off will also be accommodated in this new calendar although there was no definite number of days given for the anticipated break.
“Elections will affect the calendar twice in the event of a run-off but not adversely. I have to play with the tools my country gives me, I have no choice since my advice as Justice Minister (to hold polls in December) was carelessly ignored,” he emphasised.
He says that he has written a reminder to Finance Minister Njeru Githae to immediately release money meant for Free Primary Education and Free Day School Education and that ought to be given to the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC).
“It is my hope that the that Treasury will act urgently to avoid any challenges associated with learning in this term as well as the smooth running of KCPE and KCSE in order to protect the children’s rights,” he added saying that Treasury messed with the release of funds for the second term.
The Treasury ought to release Sh1.77 billion for Free Primary Education, Sh3.94 billion for the Free Day Secondary School Education program and a further Sh300 million as grant to KNEC for the administration of examinations.
Kilonzo said that the initial letters requesting for the release of the monies were written between August 29 and September 14.