60,000 police officers deployed to man KCPE, KPSEA exams

An invigilator inspects the Standard Eight candidates at Rosebuds School in Elburgon

An invigilator inspects Standard Eight candidates at Rosebuds School in Elburgon, Nakuru County, during rehearsals on October 27. The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KEPSEA) examinations begin on Monday next week.

Photo credit: John Njoroge | Nation Media Group

The national government has deployed 60,000 police officers and downplayed fears of cheating ahead of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) examinations set to kick off on Monday.

Interior Principal Secretary Raymond Omollo said the government has increased security deployment in the volatile areas to avoid the disruption of the examination process.

“We have deployed the police officers and we have a multiagency team that will be working towards ensuring the candidates carrying out their examinations. Our role is to ensure that the learners are carrying out their examinations in a peaceful environment,” Dr Omollo said.

A number of helicopters will also be used to ferry the examination papers in areas that are likely to receive high amounts of rainfall especially in the Eastern and North Eastern regions of the country.

The multi-agency team is composed of officials from the Kenya National Examinations Council, the Communications Authority (CA), the police and the government administrative officers.

Dr Belio Kipsang, the Principal Secretary for Basic Education said the government has increased the number of examination collection centers up to a total of 60,000 and 205 vehicles will be used to distribute the examinations across the country.

“We have taken adequate measures to ensure that even as they pick the papers, they have been facilitated adequately. The proximity between the schools and the collection centers has also been reduced significantly meaning that teachers will not travel for long distances to pick the papers,” Dr Kipsang said.

Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) CEO David Njegere warned of fraudsters purporting to sell examination materials to unsuspecting teachers and parents.

"We want to assure the country that in all the 32,000 KPSEA and 28, 000 KCPE centers across the country the examinations are secure. There are in 576 containers across the country. There is no body who has access to any of those papers. Anybody lying to you that they can give you the papers before the day of the exam is a fraudster," he said on Friday.

The assurance came at a time detectives had netted a teacher accused of having the forthcoming national examination papers for both primary and secondary school.

On Friday, detectives questioned Nicholas Ngumbau Kalewa, 23, who teaches Christian Religion Education at St Lilian Academy in Kiambu County after his arrest for allegedly hawking fake examination materials on WhatsApp.

The Communications Authority Director General Christopher Wambua said the government is also monitoring social media platforms for similar cases where unscrupulous individuals create social media groups with the aim of defrauding parents. He said the individuals purport to sell the upcoming examinations and ask parents to send money to them to receive the papers.

The examinations come at a time the MPs probing the issue of examination malpractice and cheating in the 2022 national examinations urged the examinations body and the Ministry of Education to work towards upholding the examination integrity.

Mr Njegere said the government will ensure that the examination papers are picked only twice a day and at the appropriate time to avoid early exposure of the examination papers to the candidates.

A total of 1,282,574 candidates will be sitting for this year’s KPSEA exams and 1, 414,315 candidates will be sitting for the final KCPE examinations. There are 32,856 examination centers across the country.