Learners in Grade 6 and Standard 8 will begin their national examinations today in an extraordinary examination period that will see the highest number of candidates examined at a ago.
Grade 6 pupils will be assessed in the inaugural Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) while those in Standard 8 will sit their Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations.
As the learners complete their examinations on Wednesday, those in Form 4 will begin the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations on Friday.
The total number of registered candidates for the three examinations will be 3,416,048. There are 1,287,597 candidates registered for KPSEA, 1,244,188 for KCPE and 884,263 for KCSE.
The exercise will also involve a massive mobilisation of personnel to oversee the exercise.
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According to Teachers Service Commission (TSC) boss Nancy Macharia, the three examinations will involve 46,941 heads of institutions who will act as centre managers, 48,182 supervisors and 206,548 invigilators.
“I am happy to announce that despite the number of candidates in national examinations rising each year, the cases of examination-related offenses involving teachers has been declining. I wish to urge our teachers to not be involved in any form of examination malpractices this year,” Dr Macharia said.
After the examinations, the marking will involve 46,751 examiners. For KCPE, teachers will be involved in marking English composition and Kiswahili insha, with the results expected in about three weeks. The marking for the KCSE will begin on January 2, 2023, and be completed on January 20, before schools open on January 23.
Yesterday, top government officials were travelling to various regions where they have been deployed to oversee the conduct of the examinations. These include Cabinet secretaries, principal secretaries and heads of semi-autonomous government agencies. President William Ruto and Deputy President Rigathi Gachagua are also expected to monitor the examinations in some schools.
The government officials are expected to visit some of the 493 examination storage and distribution centres spread across the country. On Saturday, Education CS Ezekiel Machogu told the Nation that officials involved in the administration of the examinations will bear personal responsibility for their conduct.
“Accountability will be at the personal level. We’re properly prepared and we’ve briefed the centre managers in each county and sub-county. We’ve also identified and vetted supervisors and invigilators. This is an exercise of national importance. It will be credible and at no level will it be compromised,” he said.
In new changes aimed at curbing irregularities, the time for opening the storage containers has been brought forward from 5.30am to 6am for KPSEA and KCPE to minimise the chances of early exposure of the examination papers. For KCSE, the containers will be opened at 7am.
Mr Machogu said that no particular regions have been mapped as cheating hotspots and that there will be vigilance throughout the country.
“We don’t want to be prejudiced in any way but we’ve put mechanisms in all schools to ensure that there’s no interference and we’ve sensitised people to do the right thing,” said the CS as he wished the candidates success.