Parents and guardians whose children will sit this year’s national examinations now have only two weeks to visit them in schools.
The Ministry of Education announced this yesterday as it spelt out stricter measures aimed at curbing cheating and protecting the credibility of national examinations this year. Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i maintained that non-academic school activities will remain suspended during Third Term and told parents and other visitors to stay away.
Prayer sessions, school visits and unnecessary meetings will not be allowed this year as the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) prepares to administer examinations.
Matiang’i said additional strong metallic storage containers have been purchased, more examiners enlisted and some examination centres consolidated to reduce access to the centres.
At the same time, additional 100 vehicles have been purchased for ease of transport and deputy head teachers will be required to remain in school to help in the administration of examinations.
Matiang’i further announced that 100 metallic containers will be used in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
“To keep up with the seamless distribution of examination materials, 67 additional containers have been procured for use in the new sub-counties and in other vast areas whose terrain called for additional containers,” Matiang’i said.
He said installation of the containers at the sub-counties will be completed by July 30.
And like last year, only candidates will remain in schools during the examination period. Schools will close by October 29. Examination timetable shows that KCPE will last three days, starting October 31 to November 2.
Mathematics, English language and composition will be done on the first day of the examination. Kiswahili Lugha and Insha exams will be written on the second day. Science and religious studies papers will crown it off for the primary school candidates.
For KCSE, rehearsals will be done on November 3. Written examinations will start on November 6.
In his brief, Matiang’i said security for this years examinations will be beefed up. All private candidates who sit KCPE and KCSE examinations in non-educational institutions have been banned. These private candidates will be assigned to Government educational institutions where they will sit the papers.
“Each sub-county director of education has been directed to identify one public school where the private candidates in the sub-county will sit both the theory and practical examinations,” said Matiang’i.
This year, a total of 6,037 KCPE and 7,001 KCSE private candidates were registered.
Overall, some 1.6 million candidates were registered to write the examinations this year. Of these, a total of 1,003,556 candidates were registered for the KCPE and 615,773 for KCSE.
Matiang’i announced that KCPE examinations will be written across 28,566 examination centres and KCSE will be held in 9,350. Some new 197 KCPE and 119 KCSE schools were registered by the sub-county directors of education for use as examination centres.
“The council is currently inspecting these schools to assess and establish their suitability. This exercise will end on July 14, 2017,” Matiang’i said.
And there are three firm take away points for schools: All teachers will be expected to remain out of the examination area. Only teachers involved in practical subjects will be expected to be in school to prepare for the practicals, but only when the examination is taking place.
For schools with several science/music/arts/French teachers, only one teacher should remain at the institution during the examination.
Deputy head teachers will be required to remain in school to assist their head teachers who will be the centre managers.
“Where a school has more than one deputy, only one of the deputies can be in the school at any given time,” Matiang’i said.
And lastly, no Knec examiners or other council officials will be allowed in schools under the pretext of coaching candidates on how to answer questions.
Only Knec chairperson George Magoha will issue any communication regarding the conduct of the examinations.
In addition to these measures, Knec is recruiting more examiners to match the increased candidature in the 2017 KCPE and KCSE examinations. Magoha said the council has already trained new examiners in preparation for the 2017 marking activities. The training exercise was carried out between April 23 and 29.
“Of the new examiners trained, 464 were for the KCPE while 5,010 were for the KCSE,” he said.
Briefing for all headteachers — for both public and private schools — and field officers will be conducted in all sub-counties between August 21 and 25.