Defining moment for learners as KCPE exam starts

People Daily Team @PeopleDailyKe

The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination kicks off  this morning amid tight security.

The 1,060,759 candidates registered for the exam received final briefing on what is expected of them yesterday. They start with Mathematics, English grammar and composition papers. Tomorrow, they will write their Kiswahili lugha and insha papers while the last paper, Social Studies and Religious Education, will be administered on Thursday morning.

Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed yesterday assured everything was ready for the administration of the tests, adding that there were no credibility issues raised so far.

She also assured 100 per cent transition from primary to secondary school as part of the government policy to ensure all children access basic education.

The CS visited at least three Nairobi schools—Joseph Kang’ethe, Kibera and Olympic—to check the assess of rehearsals.

“All candidates will transition to Form One and arrangements are in place for that. We want to ensure everyone is comfortable and where they should be…we have slots for the over one million candidates sitting for their exams,” said Amina, adding: “I wish all the candidates success.”

Some schools in Kibera were demolished to pave way for road construction, but their candidates will be hosted in nearby exam centres. Joseph Kang’ethe Primary has 119 candidates and is hosting 36 from Makina Self, 41 from Makina Baptist and another eight from Friends Ngina School.

Kibera Primary, on the other hand, will serve as an exam centre for its 321 candidates, 81 from St Juliet, 26 from Love Africa, 54 from Anwa and 46 from Kisumu Dogo primary schools.

Olympic Primary has one of the highest number of candidates. It has 626 candidates and is hosting 40 from St Stephen’s, 35 from Woodley Nazarene and another 36 from Palm Olive, bringing the total to 737.

Among the issues checked during yesterday’s rehearsals were writings on desks, arrangement of desks according to  candidates index number and spacing of desks.

Prison candidates

Candidates were also taken through the process of shading answer sheets. In Nakuru county, 44 inmates at the Naivasha GK Prison are among candidates sitting the exam.  The inmates were confident they would perform better than their colleagues last year.

Prison welfare officer Mose Kodek said the number of inmate candidates rose from 33 last year to 44. He said 17 of the 44 are serving life sentence, two are on death row while the rest were on long sentences.

“The perennial challenges of lack of teachers and learning equipment continue to haunt us but we are optimistic that the inmates will perform well,” he said.

School principal Alex Ndiba, also an inmate, said another 20 prisoners are registered for the  Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam.

In Mombasa county, 26 inmates are sitting the exam at Shimo la Tewa Prison.

School head, Henry Njeru said the students were adequately prepared.

And for the first time after the fateful 2007 post-election violence, pupils at Jehova Jire Primary School in Nairobi will sit their exam comfortably on their desks.

Desk donation

This is after wellwishers came to their rescue following a story in the People Daily on the plight of over 1,000 pupils who for the last 10 years sat on mats for lack of desks.

Over 120 desks have been donated since then.

“We are happy that at least someone heard our cry and now we are at a better place,” said headteacher John Mwangi.

In Kisii, County Education Director William Sugut has urged school heads to ensure examination rooms are properly lit. 

His Busia counterpart James Gachungi said warned candidates that any person found engaging in cheating will face the law. 

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