KCSE exams involving 831,026 candidates begin countrywide

The 831,026 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates commence their exam this morning, which will be taken in more than 10,000 centres.

Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Chief Executive Officer David Njengere has assured that all is set for the 2021 Form Four examination. 

And when the exams end on April 1, there will be three more national papers to deliver this year. 

“We will continue with a multi-agency approach. We have mapped out all parts of the country; we are all set,” said Njengere, who will supervise the opening of the examination container.

Unlike last week when the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) containers were opened at 6.30am, Njengere said they will be opened at 6am for KCSE since the official start time of the exam is 8am.

“We are at a very crucial time when we are administering KCSE and also processing KCPE examination; and we are progressing well,” he said.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha will lead other senior Government officials in overseeing distribution of the papers stored in the KNEC containers. The papers will be opened at 6am every day.

Magoha has warned invigilators against exposing the papers before the stipulated exam time and has put on notice those intending to violate the laid-down rules.

“Exposing the exam early does not help; it is not exam leakage. Children are already regimented into classrooms and the security officers will make sure no one enters, including the centre managers,” he said.

Last week during the KCPE exam, three cases of early exposure were detected and the centre managers were apprehended.

 “With KCSE, the Government is on high alert because the stakes could be higher. There are those who will want to do the same in the next exam and they are welcome to do so, so that we can meet them. We are ready for them,” he warned.

According to him, the Government has means of knowing where the papers are interfered with. He urged teachers to stop confusing candidates.

Last week, Magoha banned the use of mobile phones in examination rooms, saying the decision was informed by the fact that the Ministry was able to pick certain centre managers taking images of the papers moments into the exam.

He termed the move as unacceptable, saying it is unfortunate a few incidents can mar otherwise progressive exams.

“As we have emphasised, nobody should enter the exam room with a cell phone and that includes the centre managers; they should be kept in offices and ensure that all invigilators and supervisors also deposit their cell phones there too… We will not take this lying down,” he said.

The CS also assured that all students in security-prone areas will take all their papers and, if need be, helicopters will be on standby to deliver the materials.

KCSE centres will be served from 483 distribution centres.

All Deputy County Commissioners (DCCs) and Sub County Directors of Education (SCDE) are expected to be available in person and in time to receive the exam consignment. As is the practice, SCDEs and DCCs will open the containers at a designated time and oversee the distribution of exam materials.

Magoha said no paper has leaked and over 200,000 invigilators and more than 45,000 security agents have been contracted for the exercise.  He said the exams are already in a container and, though cartels may try to interfere with the process, “they will get nothing”.

“Candidates should not be hoodwinked. The exams will be opened at the right time. The way the brain works, it is better you respect it and allow it to remember what it can and you will do very well,” he advised.

Magoha also said no politician will be allowed to enter any public or private learning institutions from today, until all the 2021 national exams are completed.

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