“It is all systems go for candidates. We know they are well prepared for the exams and that there should be no cause for alarm. All government agencies have taken charge of the exams and we assure the nation that it is well secured. It is an extraordinary exam as the first-time candidates are sitting for exams after being away from class for seven months,” he said.
The CS at the same time assured candidates especially those in private schools who were not registered for the final exams that they will not be locked out of the exams.
This comes after reports from the Nyanza region that some private schools failed to register its candidates for KCSE despite collecting registration fees from their parents.
He warned those involved that they will be punished ruthlessly.
“All candidates must take the exams without being penalized. Every other child who presents himself to the exam room as a candidate must sit for the exam even if it means photocopying a question paper for them. Afterwards, the government will deal firmly without fear or favour with those crooks who still think it is business as usual,” he added.
In Nakuru County the tests kicked off smoothly on Monday morning, amid tight measures to curb cheating.
A total of 54,751 candidates are sitting the examinations in 1,061 centres according to County Commissioner Erastus Mbui Mwenda.
Speaking when he supervised the opening of examination containers at Kapkures Deputy County Commissioner’s offices, Mbui said a total of 2,122 security personnel had been deployed to man the examination centres in all the 11 sub-counties.
“The security officers are expected to guard the papers both in examination centres and the containers at the county and sub county levels.
They will also accompany head teachers who also double up as centre managers to collect the exam papers from the storage containers every morning and in the evening when the papers are returned to the containers for collection,” stated Mr Mwenda.
He assured parents and candidates that a command centre has been set up at county headquarters from where all security operations will be monitored and coordinated.
The administrator warned that the government had tighten surveillance to stop possible use of face masks and other gadgets to facilitate cheating and early exposure of the exam papers.
Meanwhile Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya has said that high level security teams have been deployed in the volatile spots in Baringo, Turkana, Laikipia, Samburu and Elgeyo Marakwet ahead of the KCPE examinations.
He dismissed fears that ongoing heavy rains in some parts of the region might disrupt the examinations adding that the government was adequately prepared.
Addressing the press after touring several examination centres in Nakuru, Natembeya said counties with potential flooding challenges that might require special attention had been mapped out.
A total of 330,000 candidates will sit for the three-day exam in Rift Valley Region that starts with Mathematics on Monday morning. English language and Composition tests are scheduled for mid-morning and afternoon respectively.
On Tuesday, the candidates will tackle Science, Kiswahili and Insha before completing the test with Social Studies and Christian Religious Education on Wednesday.
Natembeya confirmed that all the candidates from over 10 Schools flooded with water from Lakes Baringo and Bogoria had been successfully relocated to other examination centres to ensure they do not miss KCPE.
Some of the affected schools are Loruk, Sokotei, Ng’ambo, Kiserian, Salabani and Lake Baringo. Others are Ng’enyin, Noosukro, Rugus, Lorok, Leswa, Sintaan and Lake Bogoria Primary Schools.
He also stated that all the candidates from a primary school in Marishioni within Njoro Sub-County, which was demolished during evictions from Eastern Mau Forest, will write their examinations at the nearby Daraja Primary School.
The Regional Commissioner affirmed that all students including those that are pregnant, the sick, and disabled, would be given special treatment to ensure they comfortably sit for the national exams without any problems.
“Any child who has the capacity to sit for the exams, the government will ensure that the examination is taken to the child. Those who have given birth and are still breastfeeding will be allowed to come along with their children whereby they will be allocated appropriate environments.
We have advised school managers to support the girls in cases of emergencies by taking them to nearby dispensaries,” he disclosed.
No major hitch
Close to 34,071 Kenya Certificate Primary Education candidates in Migori County started the exams on Monday with the assurance of a smooth exercise from security agencies.
The Suna East Deputy County Commissioner Kibe Maguta speaking after the dispatch of the first day exams said enough government vehicles were available to deliver exams to all examination centres.
Maguta said the government has good vehicles that will deliver exams in time despite adverse rainy condition currently.
He said all exam centres were protected areas adding that security personnel were manning them to ensure learners sit their exams without any problems.
All schools in Suna East had their exams dispatched by 7 am, a scenario Maguta described as remarkable.
Maguta was speaking at county headquarters. Also present were County Teachers Service Commission Director Beatrice Lukaka among other senior education and security officers.
Last week Regional Director of Education Willy Machocho met with county security agencies and education officials at Migori Teachers College ground to discuss best approaches on exam security.
During that meeting, Machocho warned that those handling exams should do it with a lot of caution to avoid cases where exam rules are compromised.
Speaking during the same meeting, Migori County Commissioner Mr Boaz Cherutich assured that all necessary security measures had been taken to prevent exams malpractices.