Third Eye

Protect national exams integrity

Monday, March 22nd, 2021 00:00 |
Desks arranged in a local primary school in Nairobi County. PD/FILE

Thousands of learners will today start writing the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination in considerably tough circumstances.

The youngsters will be sitting the exam as the country continues to fight the spread of Covid-19 which has claimed 2,011 lives and disrupted normal routines —including learning.

The Ministry of Health has warned the country is facing a third and lethal wave of the virus, a situation that demands extra vigilance to protect lives.

This year’s exams are unprecedented in the country’s history as candidates will be required to follow the public health protocols to prevent the spread of Covid-19 including social distancing, wearing of masks and regular washing of hands.

We understand that the safety protocols will be followed strictly by not only the candidates but also teachers and others involved in administration of exams.

With the school calendar having been disrupted for almost a year, there have been legitimate concerns about the candidates’ preparedness for the tests.

We are, however, reassured by Education officials that the 2020 class is adequately equipped for the exam.

There have been reports that candidates could use protective devices such as masks to cheat, but officials have indicated that they will be extra vigilant to protect the integrity of the exercise. 

In a country where exams are treated as a matter of life and death, everything must be put in place to ensure the process is above board.

Kenya has for the past four years registered reasonable  progress in the fight against cheating and irregularities in exams and we expect the trend to continue.

Learners are also reminded that society expects them to conduct themselves with integrity and avoid any irregularities that might ruin the dreams.

It is at moments such as this that young people learn the culture of merit and hard work, which are critical for their future as responsible members of society.

That is why we welcome the declaration by the Ministry of Education that all qualified candidates will be allowed to take the exams- including those with school fees arrears. No child should be left behind.

   But more importantly, authorities and stakeholders must enforce every measure to ensure the safety of the candidates against Covid-19.

Care must be taken to ensure administration of the exams does not turn into an avenue for the spread of the disease. We must not put down our guard.

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