Lockdown will not affect KCSE, ministry assures

Monday, March 29th, 2021 00:00 |
KCSE exam candidates at Ruthimitu Secondary School in Dagoretti South sit their first paper last Friday. Photo/PD/Douglas Langat

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has issued an assurance that the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination, which enters the second day today, will not be interrupted despite the new Covid-19 containment measures.

Knec said it would issue special passes to Ministry of Education officials to allow smooth monitoring of the exams from the 479 containers where the materials are stored to all the 10,437 exam centres.

Chemistry Paper 1

This has been necessitated by cessation of movement directive to contain the spread of Covid-19 in five counties.

“Special passes have been issued to monitors to allow them access schools to monitor KCSE since there is restricted movement as per the presidential directives issued last week,” said a Ministry of Education official.

The candidates will today write their Mathematics and Chemistry Paper 1 with students.

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha is expected to lead Principal Secretaries and officials of the Teachers Service Commission, KNEC, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and other Ministry’s directors in supervising KCSE administration in schools.

Some 752,981 candidates began their KCSE exams on Friday, on a day that President Uhuru Kenyatta issued new directives to contain the spread of Covid-19.

He said the positivity rate is at its highest since the pandemic hit the country in March last year, adding that the death rate is devastating and the stress the pandemic is placing on the health care system is unparalleled.

Zoned areas

President Uhuru has suspended physical learning in all learning institutions including universities and other colleges, other than for candidates sitting exams and those in medical training institutions.

KCSE exam is scheduled to end on April 21 and the government will be expected to give guidance on how students will move in and out of zoned areas of Nairobi, Kiambu, Machakos, Kajiado and Nakuru counties, if Covid-19 restrictions will still be in force.

The Ministry of Education has assured that it will safeguard security and integrity of the examination process.

“I have directed that, during KCSE examination, we will work with the Ministry of Interior and National Coordination of Government to ensure that we have at least two armed police officers at each examination centre.

One of the armed police officers will be guarding the day’s unopened examination papers while the other will be engaged in routine daily patrol,” Magoha said last week.

Marking of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam, which was concluded last week, is already underway.

The Ministry has said it will ensure the marking is concluded as soon as possible to pave way for Form One selection.

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