The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has assured the 2.5 million candidates who will sit national tests starting next week that the assessment will be fair and learners will be scored fairly.
In a candid letter to candidates, Knec Chief Executive David Njengere warned that the exams will be rigorously monitored to prevent cheating, and those who are caught will have their results cancelled.
In the letter dated November 1, Mr Njengere cautioned candidates not to be misguided by teachers or parents to engage in examinations malpractice.
“Every year, a few candidates get their examination results cancelled because of cheating. It is sad for a student to miss their examination results after learning for several years. However, no examination results can be given to a candidate who has cheated. Examination results are only given for a candidate’s own honest effort,” he said.
Rehearsals for 1,244,188 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates, as well as the 1,287,597 candidates sitting for Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) will be conducted today. The exams will begin on Monday, November 28 and end on Wednesday, November 30.
Another 884,263 candidates will sit for the Kenya Certificate for Secondary Examination (KCSE) examination between December 2 and December 23.
The first cohort of pupils under the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC) will sit for the inaugural KPSEA, while the second-last batch of learners under the 8-4-4 system will sit for KCPE exams.
For KCPE, the candidates will tackle Mathematics on Day One for two hours. They will also sit for the English language paper and thereafter write the Composition paper after a break.
Science, Kiswahili Lugha and Kiswahili Insha exams will be done on Tuesday, while Art and Craft, Music and Religious Education will be tackled on the final day.
KPSEA candidates will begin with Mathematics before sitting for the English paper. On Tuesday, they will begin with integrated science (Science and Technology, Agriculture, Home Science and Physical Health Education) before sitting for the Kiswahili exam.
On Wednesday, they will sit for Creative Arts and Social Studies.
Dr Njengere told the candidates in the letter that the council has devised ways of detecting exams malpractices.
“Knec is committed to making examinations fair for all candidates and has diverse and accurate methods of detecting those candidates who cheat during examinations. Candidates who cheat or are impersonated cannot be given examination results,” he said.
He reminded the candidates cheating would attract stiff penalties, and urged them to report any cases to the exams body.
“Cheating will not help you. In fact, should anyone try to make you cheat or should you know of any other candidate involved in this bad practice, you must report this immediately. You are required to thoroughly read the last page of your examination timetable under the heading ‘penalty for examination irregularities’.”
Knec has already instructed supervisors, invigilators and candidates to strictly adhere to the time limit, and to ensure no examination papers are opened before the allowed time.
“The time allowed for each paper is indicated against the name of the paper and no extra time is to be allowed. Supervisors and invigilators should ensure that candidates are issued with personalised mark sheets that bear their correct names and assessment numbers,” the instructions read.
In an earlier communication, Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia directed that one invigilator should man 20 candidates while one supervisor should be in charge of 200 students.