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Focus on national exams as Magoha, team in UK

By Augustine Oduor | July 29th 2021
Class 8 teacher Samuel Mwangi in a Math class session at Joseph Kangethe Primary School in Nairobi. [David Gichuru,Standard]

Focus now shifts to preparations for national examinations, days after learners opened schools.

All children from Pre-Primary to Form Four reported to schools on Monday when the new term, which will last for 10 weeks, started.

And as the 2021 academic year begins, all learners were transitioned to their new classes.

This was after a successful administration of school-based assessments for Grade 4 and the national examinations for Standard Eight and Form Four learners. The activities took place following the roll-out of a crash learning programme to recover time lost during the prolonged closure of schools in 2020.

Last year’s examinations were administered under former Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) Chief Executive Mercy Karogo.

It is now emerging that with the change of guard at the council, where David Njeng’ere was appointed new boss, preparations for Kenya Certificate Primary Examination and Kenya Certificate Secondary Education will start early.

The Standard has established that Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha is leading a high-level team from his ministry and Knec to assess the process at the printer in the United Kingdom. Basic Education PS Jwan Julius is also among the delegation heading to the UK. Previously, staff who accompanied the CS and the chief executive included officers from test development, printing department, finance and examination administrations. The officials, who have accompanied President Uhuru Kenyatta to the global education conference, are expected to monitor the examination preparations. Dr Njeng’ere, who will be visiting the printer for the first time after his appointment, will be taken through the entire preparation process. The officials will go through all activities from setting questions, proofreading, printing and packaging.

Back home, pressure is mounting on Knec as it races against time to be ready for the examinations ahead of March 2022. The council will have to work within the squeezed timelines to produce examinations.

Under the revised school calendar, the second term will start on October 11 and will run for 11 weeks, ending on December 23. And third term will start January 3, 2022, and will end on March 4 after nine weeks. KCPE examination has been scheduled to start on March 7 for three days while KCSE exams will begin on March 11.

Knec candidates’ registration deadline lapses Saturday, kick-starting the long process of preparations for the examinations. A Knec circular dated May 18 to school heads says candidates’ registration was to be done between June 2 and July 31.

The council said candidates must be registered in schools where they completed Standard Seven for the KCPE exam and Form Three for the KCSE test. 

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