Heavy manpower will be deployed to ensure the success of this year’s KCPE and KCSE exams to be written under special Covid-19 circumstances.
The Kenya National Examination Council says 286,901 field officers— supervisors and invigilators —will be contracted for exams administration compared to the 173,000 field officers engaged in 2019.
The details are contained in a document assessing preparedness for the two national examinations.
This year’s exams will be done in March and April. Traditionally, the tests are conducted between October and November.
For KCPE, 1,191,411 candidates are registered to take the test in 28,451 centres.
For KCSE, 752,933 candidates will sit the exams in 10,437 centres compared to 10,287 approved in 2019.
Following the long closure of learning institutions, Knec is gathering data on schools closed down during the shutdown and the candidates affected.
Among the issues put into consideration is likely adverse weather as the exams will be conducted during the long rains season.
The council also points to insecurity and flooding of major lakes and rivers in various parts of the country.
The Star has also established that the schools’ unrest is a new headache for the smooth running of the examinations.
The examinations will be the fifth in a row to be administered under the strict measures to prevent cheating adopted in 2016.
In this year’s examinations, the council has secured 479 containers at the subcounty headquarters where the examination papers will be housed.
The containers will have a double locking system and the subcounty director of education and the deputy county commissioners will be the only ones authorised to open and close them.
Vast subcounties will get extra containers that will be located in the assistant county commissioner’s office.
The process of appointing supervisors and invigilators is ongoing and will be completed at the end of February.
Knec will also put in place the required mechanisms to be used to deliver and return the exam materials.
Preparation for marking of the exams is also ongoing and those involved in the process will include 7,402 KCPE examiners and 27,248 KCSE examiners.
Road and air transport will be used to avert any disruption that could occur.
KCPE will commence on Monday, March 22 and end on Wednesday, March 24.
KCSE candidates will undergo their rehearsals on March 25 before sitting their written exams from March 26 to April 21.
For learners with special needs, Knec will have a toll-free line for school heads to convey any emerging cases that require intervention.
In total, 2,689 learners with special needs will sit this year’s KCPE and another 1,891 will sit the KCSE test.
Among those sitting KCPE exams 112 are blind, 633 are affected with low vision, 1,207 are physically challenged and 737 have a hearing impairment.
Of those sitting KCSE 113 are blind, 502 have low vision, 712 are physically challenged and 564 are hearing impaired.