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We will protect integrity of exams, vows President

People Daily team @PeopleDailyKe

President Uhuru Kenyatta has once again reiterated that the government will not relent on its quest to protect the integrity on national examinations set to begin this week.

The President warned Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCSE)  and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams candidates against forgery of the national exams saying they will be arrested and hauled in approved schools while their parents who will be found connected to the scam will be taken to jail.

“I am made to understand that some parents are giving their children as much as Sh100,000 to buy examination papers so that they can pass the final exam. Let me warn such parents and candidates that if found, they will be taken to prison and approved schools respectively,” said President Uhuru In Kapsabet, Nandi county yesterday.

KCSE examination officially starts today with practicals. Some of the more than 0.6 million candidates registered for French (Oral and Braille) will be the first one to write their exam.

The practical will end on November 1 with German (oral), Arabic (oral), Kenyan Sign Language (practical signing skills) and home science (foods and nutrition) being lined up during this period.

According to Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), there are 964,119 candidates enrolled for KCPE and 631,750 for KCSE exams.

With schools expected to close by the end of this month, KCPE examinations will start on October 30 while rehearsals will take place a day earlier. KCSE examination theory papers start on November 5 and end on November 29.

Ministry of Education led by Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed has exuded confidence that the examination will be conducted without hitches after intense multi-agency preparations.

The process has not been without issues after Amina said more than 200 schools are under investigations over plans to cheat in the examinations.

She said the ministry has identified several examination cartels that have been behind the sale of fake papers to parents and candidates but vowed they will be brought to book.

“So far, we have placed 30 examination centres under high dependency surveillance and 192 under amplified surveillance based on reported examination malpractice trends from 2015 to 2017,” she said.

For examination safety, all examination containers will not be opened until the stipulated time, which is 5.30am. No centre should start distributing examination papers before the stipulated starting time.

Containers will have a double locking system and only sub-county directors of education and deputy county commissioners will have the keys.

Some 224 security officers will escort the examination materials from the Knec warehouse to the examination storage facilities in the counties.

All question papers will be escorted by armed security officers’ everyday of the examination from collection to return of the answer scripts to the container and back to the council.

The government is leaving nothing to chance, especially after the Meteorological department said rains could pound most parts of the country in the coming two weeks.

According to Amina, Sh4.2 billion has been set aside for the administration of the examinations. Some 264,446 field officers will be involved in the national tests.

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