State alert as KCSE exams begin
By Irene Githinji and Harrison Kivisuy
The 699,745 candidates sitting their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations will begin their tests this morning, with the government assuring that it is on the look out for any cheating attempts.
Students, including those who require large prints, braille and the hearing impaired, will start with English (functional skills) paper, and later take the English Comprehension, literary appreciation and grammar paper.
Tomorrow, candidates will sit their Mathematics and Chemistry papers, with the last examination being taken on November 27.
KCSE exams will be undertaken in 18 days in 10,287 centres, with students not allowed to leave examination rooms before the end of the period allocated to each paper except with special permission from the supervisor.
Candidates are also cautioned against any form of communication between themselves or with outsiders during examination and neither are they allowed to have in their possession or proximity any book, notes or papers except the correct question papers and any materials expressly authorised by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).
Knec has also banned cell phones or any other electronic communication devices in examination centres and any candidate found in possession of the gadgets will have his or her results cancelled.
“A candidate who commits an examination irregularity in any paper will have the results for the whole subject cancelled. Such a candidate will not be entitled to a result and will be awarded result “Y” overall. If there is evidence of wide-spread irregularities in any examination centre, results for the whole centre will be cancelled,” warned Knec.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha last week said the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations were “leak-free” but the main challenge was with administration of KCSE exams but authorities are alert.
“The real exam starts this week, can we be more vigilant to deliver to our children credible examination,” he said.
The government is not leaving anything to chance and key among measures it has put in place is to extend security surveillance up to two kilometres of each examination centre.
Magoha said the measure helped detect attempted KCPE cheating in Nyandarua, adding that “this spirit will be enhanced in KCSE.”
Magoha said examination officials should strictly enforce measures meant to ensure security of examinations from the 479 containers to examination centres, with centre managers also expected to use designated vehicles and be escorted by security to avoid early exposure.
Some of the areas identified as possible cheat zones for KCSE are Migori, Wajir, Kericho, West Pokot, Bungoma and Kisumu.
In Mombasa, Coast Region Education Coordinator Hassan Duale said the government will ensure that insecurity prone areas such as Lamu are provided with adequate protection to facilitate smooth running of examinations.