More examiners are expected to travel back home today after completing the marking exercise.
This is after they completed the marking of Insha and Composition papers which contribute forty per cent in the final Kiswahili and English papers respectively.
Sources at the Ministry of Education hinted that the KCPE exam results could be out anytime from this week.
Education CS George Magoha had said KCPE examination results will be out starting this week.
Magoha announced this while in Kisumu supervising distribution of KCSE exams saying they are on the right track with only the marking of Kiswahili Insha and English Composition remaining.
This means the compilation exercise will kick off this week which will mean timely release of KCPE 2020 results.
A total of 1,191,725 candidates in 28,467 schools were registered to sit for the KCPE exam.
However the CS downplayed the claims of a leaked KCPE exams. This is after evidence showed the English, Science and Social Studies papers were airlifted from some published books.
The Distinction Educational Publishers distanced themselves from the KCPE 2020 scandal where the English question paper matched one of its papers which was published in February, just a month before the national exam.
The publishers said that all they do is release tests that are used to analyse the students’ preparedness and have nothing to do with the setting of the national exams.
“If KNEC used our content, then we don’t have any issue with them. Our books have been used for the past years,” a director at the company said.
Education CS George Magoha is still adamant that no leakage has occurred in both KCPE and KCSE exams.
Magoha warned private schools, suppliers, police officers, teachers and students of exams cheating.
“This ministry will not take cheating lightly, and this is why we are sending a warning to all those planning to confuse our children or parents that the full force of the law will be used against those found culpable,” said Magoha.
The CS said even the invigilator in Kitui who sent away a pupil during the composition examination will be dealt with and will face the law.
The teacher had sent the class eight girl home for funds. The candidate however did not get the money at home which made her not to go back to school leading her to miss the afternoon Composition paper.
Magoha however said the pupil will be graded minus the composition exam.
Magoha told school heads and education officers to be extra careful because a few of them were ‘playing’ with the examination papers after taking them from the containers.
Magoha noted that it was quite unfortunate that such people end up confusing the candidates undertaking the examinations.
Last week Betta Mutuku, the principal of ABC Kiseveni Secondary School in Machakos County, was arrested on Tuesday 6th for posting the KCSE Mathematics paper on her WhatsApp status.
Mutuku has since rejected the allegations saying she is not aware who posted the paper on her Whatsapp status.
Police officers led by Machakos DCIO Rhodah Kanyi stormed the school hours before the exam began and whisked her off to the police station for questioning.
Ms. Mutuku is said to have put the Mathematics paper on her WhatsApp status since Monday evening for the candidates to study overnight ahead of sitting for the actual exam on Tuesday.
Her phone was also confiscated as investigations began.
Magoha warned school heads against circulating exam papers after taking them from the containers.
“I want to give you a heads up that there are few of us playing around with the examination papers after taking them from the examination containers and it’s unfortunate,” he said.
He also expressed concerns over the circulation of fake examination papers by some group urging the invigilators to be extra careful.
“You are aware of the circulation of fake papers by some group and these people you know them and should be ignored,” the CS said.
Teachers expose KCPE leakage
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary-General Wilson Sossion and teachers exposed how a blunder by the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) led to the leakage of KCPE exams.
Teachers said that KNEC lifted Social Studies and English exams from two books that had been widely circulated to Class 8 candidates prior to sitting the exams in March 2021.
Teachers also lamented over exam that was unusually full of errors.
Some teachers said the Science paper had a question with wrong key and distractors while others said there were errors in other papers too.
The candidates, mostly those in private schools had already done the tests in February 2021 after purchasing the books published by Distinction Educational Publishers.
“When a similar test is predicted and it appears in the KNEC exams, then it shows there was a leakage. The credibility and reliability of national exams is tarnished,” Sossion had said.
“Even though exams are set from learning material available, KNEC going on to publish the same tests indicates that we have a serious issue with our exam process,” Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Secretary-General, Akelo Misori added.
Exam stakeholders thus raised various questions among them being whether KNEC tendered the publishers to set the exams as well as how the council will rectify the error as schools that had done the tests before now have a wide advantage.
Education stakeholders said that they would keenly follow the developments to see whether Magoha would take action against KNEC. The council said that it would issue a statement on the matter.
Marking of the KCPE tests began on Thursday, March 25, the KCSE exams commenced on Friday, March 26.
KCSE 2020 has a total of 751,150 candidates eligible to write the tests.
Wrangles over Marking of KCSE
However CS Magoha faces a fresh hurdle after teachers demanded higher pay for examination officials and enhanced conditions for all professionals contracted during the administration of the tests.
Most of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates are expected to sit their last papers by end of this week.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) wants the exam agency to raise marking fees for each script by at least Sh50, citing the present harsh economic times.
Kuppet argues that papers like Chemistry Paper 1, Mathematics and English Paper 1 should each be paid at not less than sh100.
Presently marking each paper attracts between Sh51 to Sh58.
“Science teachers (Biology, Chemistry and Physics) need to be considered for allowances during practical. Other practical subjects like Agriculture, Building & Construction, Music and Home Sciences should be considered too,” said Kuppet secretary general Akello Misori.
The teachers’ union also wants Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) to increase invigilators’ and supervisors’ allowances by 100 per cent, saying the present fee has been fixed for a long time.
The union also wants school heads, also known as centre managers allowance, which is presently Sh500, to be reviewed upwards.
Presently, primary school head teachers are paid a flat rate of Sh500 for the three days they oversee the administration of KCPE.
KCPE supervisors earn Sh2,485 while invigilators take home Sh1,615. Security officers are paid 1,050 while drivers earn Sh1,040.
KCSE supervisors in Nairobi and Mombasa are paid Sh695 per day for 18 days, translating to Sh12,510.
Supervisors from other regions earn Sh630 for the same number of days, translating to Sh11,340.
Invigilators in Nairobi and Mombasa earn Sh580 per day for 17 days, while invigilators from other regions get Sh460 for a similar number of days.
Secondary school principals take home a flat rate of Sh500 for 18 days, translating to Sh9,000.
Security officers who take part in KCSE’s administration earn a flat rate of Sh420 for 16 days while drivers earn Sh6,480 for the same number of days.
The union also wants transport reimbursement for supervisors and invigilators from ASAL areas to be reviewed upwards since most of the areas are expansive, forcing some to travel up to 200 km to reach their schools.
“The rates for counties such as Wajir and Tana River should be enhanced,” said Misori.
In a firm statement, Kuppet also wants coordination allowances increased by half. “Examiners’ transport allowances should be reviewed, especially when reporting to marking centres,” said Misori.
Union also wants lecturers in Teachers Training Colleges (TTCs) who assess and submit marks to KNEC to be paid for their work.
“The same should apply to TVET trainers who assess candidates on practical courses.”
On the overall conditions of teachers working conditions, Kuppet wants marking centres should be devolved and probably rotated around the country unlike now when they are only in Nairobi.
Union also wants the working hours during marking be fixed between 8.00 am to 5.00 pm to avoid fatigue.
And after the examination administration processes, Kuppet wants the teachers awarded certificates.
“Examiners should be given Certificates of Attendance to help improve their CVs for interviews during promotions,” said Misori.
Kuppet last year demanded that the venue for marking all KCSE examination papers and KCPE English composition, as well as Kiswahili insha, be moved to university campuses or other high-level government institutions.
Knec had released transport schedule for teachers taking part in the marking exercise for all forty seven counties.
The tutors were to converge in a specified location where they would be picked and transported to Nairobi for the exercise.
Knec had issued transport date and regional coordinators for each county. The teachers were transported using school buses.
National schools put on notice over Form 1 selection
The Ministry of Education has put on notice seven national schools over interference with the upcoming Form 1 selection exercise.
The marking of KCPE exams is complete meaning the results will be released to the public soon.
This also means Form 1 selection exercise will kick off immediately after the marking exercise is concluded and results released to the public.
However the Ministry of Education through a circular sent to County Director of Education – Nakuru, County Director of Education – Kericho and the Regional Director of Education – Nairobi has issued a warning to seven national schools which due not adhere to the laid down guidelines.
According to the Ministry the schools are accused of pre selecting their form one class prior to the National Form one Selection process.
“The purpose of this letter is to ask you to inform the Principals of the listed schools in your jurisdiction to ensure that they only pre-select candidates who have chosen their schools as per the KNEC data base. The National Selection process will ignore the pre-selection of such candidates and place them in schools of their choice and on merit if this instruction is not adhered to,” said the Ministry through a circular.
The schools targeted in this crack down are;
1. Starehe Boys Centre – (Nairobi)
2. Starehe Girls – (Nairobi)
3. Moi Forces Academy – (Nairobi)
4. Moi Forces – Lanet – (Nakuru)
5. Utumishi Academy – (Nakuru)
6. Utumishi Girls – (Nakuru)
7. Moi Tea Girls – (Kericho)
The 2020 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) candidates will join Form One in July 2021 after the marking exercise is completed and selection exercise done, PS for Early Learning and Basic Education, Dr Julius Jwan said.
Jwan last however said the ministry is yet to settle for a specific date for admissions of learners to high school in July.
CS Magoha said all measures have been put in place to ensure KCPE results are released in good time.
Further, the CS said that the Covid-19 pandemic had posed a great challenge to the Ministry of Education as some examiners were unable to show up for the marking due to the current movement restriction in the country.
This was as a result of the partial lockdown of some counties, while others decided not to turn up due to their fears over the Covid-19 pandemic.
However, Prof. Magoha noted that this has not interfered with the schedule and that his Ministry had done enough to ensure the results are delivered on time.
“As I said, we are on track. We shall keep updating you on the progress, and we shall keep sharing any events that we find necessary,” he said.
Prof. Magoha said his office will continue to monitor the examinations across the country despite reports of irregularities.
“Today marks the third week of the examinations, and we are proceeding extremely well, considering all things. The examination has gone as per the schedule, except a few tricks that I warned about earlier,” he said, adding that such cases will be dealt with accordingly.
The CS concluded by saying that this year’s examinations had so far experienced low integrity issues as only 15 people and 15 phones had been confiscated adding that if the phones are found with examination content, then necessary actions will be taken against their respective owners.
He warned school heads against hiking fees without consulting the ministry when schools reopen.
Nearly 1.2 million candidates wrote the 2020 KCPE exams after resuming school in October after the school calendar was disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Schools were closed indefinitely in March 2020 when the first case of Covid-19 was reported in Kenya.
Since then, the country has been through three waves of the virus, with the third wave proving to be lethal.
In the last three weeks alone, thousands of infections have been reported with double-digit deaths.
The PS, also urged Kenyans to be sensitive especially when addressing young girls who wrote their exams while pregnant.
“Forcing them to name those who impregnated them will be contributing to their mental anguish”.