Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has ordered the deployment of adequate security personnel in all examination centres, as focus shifts to Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.
Magoha called for the need to safeguard security of the national examination exercise, a situation he said cannot be taken for granted.
He said he was alarmed over lack of adequate security officers to oversee not only transportation but also administration of exams in more than 1,000 examination centres in the county, a scenario he described as unacceptable.
“We have serious hiccups among our uniformed officers. For avoidance of doubt, I want to make this clear at the policy framework level that to maintain the integrity of these exams, each centre manager must have two police officers.
That is not being done in this county and it must be done effectively from today (Tuesday),” Magoha, who spoke from Machakos county said yesterday.
He said assigning two police officers per centre manager might not be very important in KCPE exams, but is very critical for KCSE exams.
“There must be and there shall be two officers per examination centre,” Magoha insisted.
The CS directed area County Commander, Issa Mohamud to allocate more police officers to areas where there are glaring gaps to ensure there is no security lapse in case an officer become incapacitated in the course of the exam.
Magoha also urged all education stakeholders involved in administration of the exams to undertake their responsibilities seriously to avoid lapse in the exercise.
The CS insisted that anyone involved in the exercise should know they are serving the same government though from different Ministry and will, therefore, be accountable to the same employer individually if anything goes wrong in the line of duty.
“I want to urge all senior government officers who are concerned with this examination process not to lower their guard.
Kindly take your work seriously irrespective of which ministry you come from. Make sure you are available on time. We are serving the same government,” insisted the CS.
The CS made the remarks against the backdrop of an incident in Mbeere, where a police officer mandated to provide security reportedly declined to board a bus with exam materials from the collection container.
Exams at Kandomba Primary School had to start late than the stipulated time.
The police officer, John Murithi did not give a reason why he was uncomfortable to board the bus, thus delaying exam transportation.
Candidates were to take the science exam paper from 8:30am but started at least 40 minutes late.
The exam had to be taken to a neighbouring school, Mukororia primary until an alternative armed security was provided to secure transportation of exams.
The said police resurfaced at the school later, with police bosses in the county saying that he will be disciplined for failing to secure the exam as expected. The CS said there were ,however, no hitches across country.
“Yesterday (Monday) I was in Kiambu and everything went on well. Each centre manager had two askaris.
I also went through to Gatundu South Sub county and confirmed they were all adhering to the rules.”
Meanwhile, Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination went on smoothly yesterday save for a few hitches in Makueni and Embu counties.
In Makueni, at least 94 pupils did not write their examination because they could not be traced, while in Embu county, the examination delayed for close to one hour because one security officer assigned to secure the examination went missing.
Makueni County Commissioner Maalim Mohammed said the worst hit sub-counties included Kibwezi with 34 missing learners, Makindu (17), Nzaui (13), Kathozweni (9) and Mbooni West (6).
Other sub-counties that children missed their exams were Mbooni East (5), Makueni (4) Kilungu and Mukaa (3).
“The multi-agency team should do contact tracing and ensure the children are found and return to school.
It is a big loss to the parents and government that has paid examination fees,” said Mohammed.
“I want all Deputy County Commissioners, Sub-County Directors of Education, police, head teachers, chiefs and assistant chiefs to find the where about of this children.
They must be traced and be accounted for,” added Mohammed, who spoke from his Wote office.
He warned that parents will face dire consequences for abdicating their duty of educating and caring for their children.
“I want parents to listen to me, if your child has not gone to do exams, you will answer very many questions because you have wronged yourself, the child and also the government,” warned the county commissioner.
The exam ends today with Social Studies and Religious Education paper, even as marking is expected to commence early next month.
The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has already made online invitations for all KCPE and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examiners for 2021 marking exercise.
The KCPE examiners link was opened from March 16 while that of KCSE was opened from March 22.
“The first procedure will see those with Contracted Profession (CP2) accounts and passwords log in to the examiners portal using their username and password,” said KNEC.
Those without passwords will be expected to click on the reset password button to enter their mobile number and submit to get usernames and password for logging to the system.
Upon successful log in, examiners will be expected to complete their personal information and save.
“Using the dashboard provided, access, read, accept or reject the invitation letter provided.
After one accepts the offer letter, download and print the invitation letter,” KNEC advised.
In Nyamira, seven candidates in Borabu Sub-county were allowed to sit the ongoing exams though they were not registered with KNEC.
The candidates are, however relying on extra examination scripts, which education officials are collecting and consolidating from neighbouring examination centres.