, NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 29 – More than 1 million class eight candidates are scheduled to start their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations on Tuesday, in what will gauge their transition to the next phase of the 8-4-4 education curriculum.
The examination will be undertaken amid tight security measures ordered by President Uhuru Kenyatta, who has warned of dire consequences on the candidates, teachers and even parents—who risk jail terms if they are found to have aided cheating in the exams.
On Monday, Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed assured that all is set ahead of Tuesday’s start of the examinations.
“So far, no credibility issues and we are all comfortable and happy that the preparations are going as they should,” Amina said, when she toured schools in Kibra Constituency here in Nairobi during rehersals.
Over 1 million candidates are registered for the examinations in schools across the country.
There have been concerns on how the examinations will be transported in areas worst hit by insecurity and evictions like Mau Forest, and the coastal region which is experiencing heavy rains, which the Meteorological department has warned, could result to heavy flooding.
But the CS has assured that proper measures have been put in place to address the challenges, in collaboration with the Interior Ministry. “No one will be left out,” she said.
She said a team of more than 100,000 teachers and 70,000 security officers have been deployed across the country for 3-day exams.
On safeguarding the integrity of the examinations, President Kenyatta last week said parents and teachers are to blame where candidates are found to have bought examination leakages purported to be genuine.
“Children in Standard 8 cannot raise the huge amounts of money to buy examinations. Where does a child get Sh100,000 to pay for a stolen exam? It must be their parents who are paying,” the president said, who also warned candidates caught cheating that they will be sent to approved schools.
Recently, Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang warned parents against aiding their children to access material that can compromise the integrity of the examinations, saying they risk losing their own certificates.
He said part of measures put in place to safeguard the examinations, both at the primary and secondary school level, where exams kicked off last week, is to have the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) recall certificates of parents and teachers aiding exam cheating.