All set for KCPE, KCSE exams as Knec spells out strict rules

By Augustine Oduor | Saturday, Sep 1st 2018 at 00:00
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Moi High School Kabarak students during the institution’s thanksgiving ceremony and prayer day for this years KCPE and KCSE candidates last month. [File, Standard]

Examinations for the 1.7 million KCPE and KCSE candidates are ready and will be dispatched countrywide a few days to the start of the tests.

In a marked departure from previous years, examination booklets will be dispatched to schools this month for centre managers to check if the materials are adequate ahead of the schedulled dates.

The materials will be distributed to sub-county directors of education who will issue them to centre managers, supervisors and invigilators in a new plan to beat last minute confusion.

Yesterday, it emerged examination question papers and related materials will be dispatched from the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) offices to the distribution points (containers) a few days to the start.

The details are contained in a brief by Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo.

Multi-agency approach

The brief by Karogo will form the core of week-long regional meetings that will bring together Ministry of Education officials, regional security officers and allschool heads.

Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang has instructed allregional coordinators of education to ensure all the primary and secondary school heads, county and sub-county directors of education and examination supervisors attend the briefings.

The briefings will start September 3 (Monday) and will be chaired by county commissioners at county level and deputy county commissioners at sub-county level.

Sub-county examination officers, police officers in charge of the sub-county (OCPD) and deputy administration police commandants (DAPC) will also attend.

The briefing is part of the multi-agency approach to the management of the examinations.

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has already instructed teachers that there will be no room for errors this year. Some 1.7 million candidates will sit the primary and secondary examinations this year. Of these, 1,060,703 will sit KCPE with 664,585 sitting KCSE.

KCPE examinations will be done across 27,161 cantres. KCSE will be done in 10,077 centres.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said the ban on third term school activities will remain in force.

Last week, Knec Chairman George Magoha said the council has prepared adequately for the administration of the examinations.

“We have done very well so far. Everything is in place in readiness for the administration of examinations,” said Magoha.

Saturday Standard has now established that with only two months to the start of the examinations, Knec is now focusing on administration.

Finer details show that this year, unlike the practice previously, all question papers will not be kept in staffrooms or any other place other than the examination rooms in the full glare of candidates, invigilators, security and supervisors.

Sources revealed that the decision was arrived at after it emerged that some schools had established command centres to access and leak examination material.

Under the arrangement, some schools are said to have planned to open examination papers in an elaborate plan involving invigilators, school heads and security officers.

Knec has warned that no question papers will be opened before the scheduled time and that invigilators and teachers are not allowed to write examinations for any candidates at any given time.

Last year, Knec said it had sealed examination leakage and revealed it faced challenges of early exposure.

Sources said that this year, adequate measures have been put in place to ensure no early exposure is experienced.

Knec said any form of examination malpractice must be reported and handled by the sub-county directors of education.

“Any candidate who is proven beyond a reasonable doubt as having been involved in an examination malpractice will have their results cancelled,” said Karogo.

Knec has also banned any form of inducement by centre managers to the examination supervisors and invigilators.

“The centre managers should not give lunch or fare to monitoring officers. Officers who demand the same should be reported to Knec through any of the channels available,” warned Karogo. Knec also warned that centre managers should not demand money from parents/guardians to entertain school guests who may include Knec monitoring officers.

“This is normally a foundation of compromised examination management. As public officers, it is important to be aware of the Bribery Act 2016,” said Karogo.

The ban has been enforced after reports indicated that some school heads are colluding with parents to collect money to compromise the examination administration process.

Knec has cautioned sub-county directors to ensure no conflict of interest exists when deploying invigilators and supervisors.

This means that examination officials may be posted to supervise examinations away from their sub-counties.

This measure has also been taken as it emerged that some sub-county directors deployed favourable officials to friendly schools for kickbacks.

Vetting of officials

TSC sub-county Directors provided names of the 2018 KCPE and KCSE supervisors and invigilators.

The data was forwarded to TSC for vetting and the approved supervisors and invigilators will be sent to back for deployment.

“For every 20 candidates, there should be one invigilator and for every 200, candidates there should be one supervisor,” said Karogo.

Data from Knec shows that for KCPE, some 64,758 invigilators, 27, 025  supervisors will be deployed to administer the examinations. The papers will be marked by some 5,834 examiners.

And for KCSE, 36,622 invigilators and 10,183 supervisors will be deployed. The examinations will be marked by 23,713 examiners.

Center managers who are also the school heads will collect and return examination papers to the containers.

“After the examination of the day, the supervisor will hand over  the candidates’ answer scripts to the centre manager who will return them to the distribution point/container under security escort,” said Karogo.

Knec announced it has installed additional 40 containers, bringing to 459 the total number of strong safes.

Four security officers will be deployed to man a container on a 24-hour basis.

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