Over a million Standard Eight pupils accompanied by their parents, teachers, guardians and relatives gathered in various churches yesterday for prayers ahead of their exams this week.
A Ministry of Education official confirmed to People Daily that preparations for both Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) are underway despite the tension-packed political environment.
Yesterday, Nasa leader Raila Odinga sent the students a message of good luck. “I take this opportunity to wish these young boys and girls the best of luck and success in the exams. I encourage all candidates to be courageous as they prepare to sit the exams. It is a major transition that sees them progressively taking over their future and ours as a country,” he said.
A total of 1,003,556 candidates will sit the KCPE. This will be the highest number of candidates ever registered for the exam since the start of the national exams. The exam will start on Tuesday and end on Thursday, but candidates across the country will conduct their rehearsals this morning.
Another 615, 773 candidates will sit KCSE that starts next Monday though practical tests commence today. Rehearsals for the KCSE candidates are scheduled for November 3. The national testing agency has already assured that preparations for the exams were complete.
Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) chairman George Magoha said arrangements had been made to deliver materials to all the examination centres on time. He said steps had been taken to ensure a credible national exam as happened last year.
All Form Four candidates who registered for Home Science practicals will write the examination papers today. The paper was postponed following disruptions of the examination’s schedule because of last Thursday’s repeat presidential election.
“We are confident that all candidates in every part of the country will get an equal and fair chance to sit this important examination from Tuesday,” said Prof Magoha. According to the timetable by Knec, KCSE will take a month while KCPE will last three days starting Tuesday.
KCPE candidates will sit Maths and English language and composition Tuesday, Science and Kiswahili on Wednesday and finish with Social Studies and Religious Education paper on Thursday. KCSE will start with Maths Alternative A and Chemistry papers next week. Knec said 5,916 examiners have been recruited to officiate KCPE and 21,828 for KCSE.
Initially, the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) intended to conduct the repeat presidential poll on October 17 to avoid interfering with academic activities.
Education Cabinet secretary Fred Matiang’i had warned that the timing of the fresh election could affect the ministry’s annual calendar of events such as the marking of exams as well as selection and placement of Form One students next year.