Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has assured candidates in national exams due in March that test questions will not be hard and marking will be moderated to factor in the Covid-19 challenges that have dogged the education sector.
The first of two Class Eight and Form Four national exams will be done in March and the other in December. This is also the year that the pioneer Grade Six testing will be conducted.
The 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams will be held between March 7 and 10 while the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam will start on February 28 and end on April 1.
The 2022 national exams for pupils now in Class Seven and Form Three will be between November 28 and December 1 (KCPE) while KCSE will be sat between December 1 and December 23.
“We want our students to relax and cease expressing themselves in acts of atrocity for fear of the examinations. We are a considerate government [and] will be as humane as possible,” he said.
Prof Magoha who toured Murang’a South and Gatanga Sub-counties, said the nine-month break disorganised the school calendar, limited the syllabus coverage time, and led to a shortage of teachers and fatigue.
“But we have all pulled through together,” he said, adding that the government has started implementing the exam reforms formulated in 2016 to curb cheating.
“We are ready to go and we are guarding the integrity of the exams. We are targeting to conclude the exercises of setting the exams by February,” he said.
He added that the government has paid for the cost of national examination registration for pupils to level the playing field for all learners. Prof Magoha said the Competency Based Curriculum that is being implemented is good for the country as it seeks to align the country with realities of the global job market.
“It is for this reason that we must get guarantees as a country that the administration that will come after President Kenyatta’s rule will not disrupt CBC,” he said. However, speaking separately in an interview, Murang’a Senator Irungu Kang’ata said the government has been implementing the new system in a clandestine manner without consulting all stakeholders.
“We would love to believe that the CBC is good as the CS is saying. But the incoming government must audit it and get a clear picture on its foundations, implementation and sustainability. Continuity of CBC will be based on sound policies,” he said.
Mr Kang’ata said few Kenyans understand CBC amid genuine concerns raised regarding its cost as families are always spending money on materials.
“Parents have become regular customers in cyber cafés and bookshops, buying learning materials. We should have a structured way of dealing with parents,” he said. Prof Magoha said the government is on course with its plans to build at least 11,600 classrooms countrywide to expand learning institutions and reduce congestion.
He said the initial target that the new spaces will be ready by April remains.
“This will see learners currently in Grade Five transiting smoothly to junior secondary at the beginning of January 2023. Our goal remains practical and realistic and we will deliver the project by April since the money has been disbursed,” he said.