Plans are complete to administer this year’s national examinations to 2.1 million KCPE and KCSE candidates. The Standard has established that details of how the tests will be conducted will be known today during a high level meeting to be chaired by Education CS George Magoha. Interior’s Fred Matiang’i and Joe Mucheru of ICT will also attend the meeting that will bring together regional security officers. Coming only two weeks to the tests, the meeting will discuss administration and how to secure exam materials.
The meeting comes days after the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) asked regional directors to fast-track nomination of centre managers, supervisors and invigilators to take part in the examinations. “This is to request you, through the County Directors, to identify and nominate centre managers, supervisors and invigilators to be engaged in administration of the examination,” read the January 12 TSC circular.
In the memo, TSC directs that after identification and nomination of the examination officials, they are deployed into the administration system by March 4.
According to the revised education calendar, 2021 KCPE examinations are scheduled to be done between March 7 and 10.
And KCSE examinations will be done between March 11 and April 1.
Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) data however shows a total 2,056,719 were registered for the tests scheduled to start in two weeks’ time. Of 1,225,693 will sit KCPE and 831,026 KCSE.
KNEC said the number of candidates sitting the KCPE examinations has increased by 34,085 compared to last years.
Additional 78, 424 candidates have also been registered to sit the KCSE examinations, according to KNEC data.
Top security and Ministry of Education officials will attend today’s meeting that will be held at the Kenya School of Government in Lower Kabete, Nairobi.
It is expected that Prof Magoha and Dr Matiang’i will give a national examination roadmap. The officials will also outline measures to be employed in the management of the tests inducing issuance of keys to containers padlocks.
Communication from the Ministry shows that the officials will launch the 2021 National Examination period and also issue security padlocks.
“The launch entails briefing of County and Sub County Education officials and their counterparts in the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government on the administration of the 2021 KCPE and KCSE and other issues relevant to the administration of the examinations,” reads the Ministry statement.
This year two sets of national examinations will be done under 8-4-4 system and the 2-6-3-3-3. The March examinations will be the first of two separate sets of national tests to be administered this year, as the country embraces new education reforms.
The second group of candidates under the 8-4-4 education system will sit KCPE and KCSE tests in December.
A total 479 containers will be used to store examination materials, according to a Knec report. Magoha said the March examinations will be moderated to factor in challenged occasioned by the Covid-19 pandemic that disrupted learning and caused reorganisation of education calendar.
“We want our students to relax and cease expressing themselves in acts of atrocity for fear of the examinations. We are a considerate government and we will be as humane as possible,” Magoha said.
In its 2021-2026 Strategic Plan KNEC projected to enhance physical security systems, upgrade electronic security systems and also develop and implement security policies, procedures, and contingency plans.
The council also plans to acquire smart padlocks for use in examination storage containers and improve the printing capacity through modernisation of secure printing equipment and automation of printing process.
Overall, the Council said it plans to review Knec rules and regulations, develop and review Council operational policies and conduct legal and compliance audits.
It also plans to train ICT staff on security, networks, databases, and data centre technologies and also sensitise staff on general ICT literacy.