Preparations for this year’s national examinations are complete, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced Monday.
This is as he reiterated that those who will break the rules in management of the exams will be punished.
Deputy county commissioners and sub-county directors of education from across the country were also directed to ensure that the exams go on as planned without any hitches.
“Everything must go on as planned. That means we must adhere to set timelines,” Dr Matiang’i said while addressing the officers who will be managing 419 containers where examination materials will be stored in the coming days.
He added that a circular by the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) will also be issued on the time the examination materials will be collected at every level.
The CS, who was speaking at the Kenya School of Government in Nairobi, revealed how last year the government had to fly a key to Kirinyaga County after a deputy county commissioner failed to show up.
In Nakuru, he went on, a deputy county commissioner left the key with his junior who misplaced it, while in Kajiado, a sub-county director of education was fired for misbehaviour.
“I do not want to contradict my colleague here (secretary national administration Arthur Osiya), but we do not want a repeat of such behaviours in this year’s national examination, we must be diligent,” Dr Matiang’i said.
Mr Osiya had indicated that there were no cases of misbehaviour.
“The team assembled here today (Monday) will indeed be critical in ensuring that there is high integrity of the national examinations in terms of security and overall administration,” the CS said.
This year, like 2016, he said, the government had formed a national multi-sectoral examinations monitoring team that would visit every corner of the country as the exams go on.
“We have agreed with the Teachers Service Commission, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development and Knec and the ministries of Interior and National Coordination and ICT to come to together and map out a strategy that will ensure a smooth monitoring of the examinations,” Dr Matiang’i said.
He went on: “Shortly, we will release details of various channels that the public and other examination officials will use to relay information to the monitoring teams.”
All primary schools will close for the Christmas holidays on October 25 while students in Form One, Two and Three will close on October 24.
“I expect that schools will provide a good environment for Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates to sit their examinations thereafter in line with the timetables provided,” the CS said.
Dr Matiang’i said the exams will take place at the peak of political activities as KCPE will start three days after the repeat presidential election.
“This means that the political atmosphere would still be a bit fluid, requiring all officials to be vigilant to ensure the examinations are run professionally.
"More specifically, the number of teachers involved in the election must quickly return to the examination centres where they will be officiating as fast as possible to avoid interrupting the smooth administration of the KCPE and KCSE exams,” the cabinet secretary added.
The teachers are required to seek approval of TSC county directors.
Knec chairman George Magoha assured Kenyans that the exams have not leaked.
“From where we sit, examinations have not leaked. Unless it leaks at the county level but you must guard it,” Prof Magoha said.