Education CS Prof George Magoha at an examination room at St. Georges Girls, 2021. [Jenipher Wachie, Standard]

Preparations for primary and secondary national examinations are complete, with more than 2.1 million candidates set to sit exams in a few days ahead.

However, merging of schools with less than 30 candidates remains a headache as affected schools rush against time to ensure preparations by students are not disrupted.

Over 170 schools currently have less than 30 candidates. Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha directed that schools with less than 30 pupils should merge with nearby schools to save students from covering long distances to the examination centres.

The merger regulation was reinforced by the court, which overturned a petition opposing the rule of 30 students per centre.

According to Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (KEPSHA) chairperson Jonson Nzioka, schools with fewer candidates have already been identified and registered with the public schools where their students will write the exams.

Clear indicator

Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam will be done between March 7 and March 10 while Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam will take place between March 11 and April 1.

Kenya National Examination Council chief executive David Njegere said 831,015 candidates will sit 2021 KCPE compared to 752,981 candidates in 2020, a 9.39 per cent increase.

Njegere said 1,215,507 candidates will sit KCSE this year compared to 1,191,752 last year, representing a 2.75 per cent rise.

“This is attributed to the 100 per cent transition the government has been implementing. The trend we have seen is a clear indicator that the growth in enrolment, transition and retention is very high,” said Njegere.

Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia said the commission had identified and vetted 242,406 teachers who will serve as invigilators, supervisors, examiners and centre managers during the 2021 national exams.