Preparations for the year's national examinations have been finalised, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha announced on Friday, adding integrity will be maintained at all costs.
“I confirm to the nation that preparations for the exams are complete. We have even enhanced the security features of the examination process,” Prof Magoha said at St Stephens Lwanya Girls' High School in Busia County, where the Matayos Sub-county Education Day was marked.
As such, prof Magoha asked parents and teachers to be on the lookout for exam cartels that target them with fake papers.
“From next month you will start seeing fake papers on the streets. If you want to buy them I urge you to give me the money I take it to church,” he said.
The minister also advised teachers to desist from rushing the syllabus since it emerged that some schools did so in March.
“Take your time and ensure your students have understood the syllabus by July or September. There is no need to complete it in March then rush students through revision only to register poor results after they miss concepts,” Prof Magoha said.
He further said the ministry was considering harmonising exam results for candidates in marginalised areas to enable them secure placement in national schools.
“We are going to get a formula this year so that when a candidate from a slightly marginalised county gets 390 marks, [he or she is] equated to someone who scored 450 in a non-marginalised region and automatically goes to a top school."
The CS also announced that the government set aside Sh8 billion in the new financial year for improvement of infrastructure in 30 counties, among them Busia.
“We understand challenges that have come with the government’s 100 per cent transition policy. The government is committed to addressing infrastructural challenges on a yearly basis. This year we already have Sh 1.2 billion for the cause,” he said.
Prof Magoha noted, however, that some of the challenges schools are facing are self-inflicted due to inflated costs by contractors hired to put up classrooms.
“Dishonesty has made us steal from our own. A classroom should cost between Sh500,000 and 750,000. When you build a class for above Sh1 million you are doing a disservice to our children."
Prof Magoha's remarks were in response to an appeal by Matayos MP Godfrey Odanga for the government to increase funds for infrastructure development in schools.
“After the 100 per cent government policy, classes, laboratories and dormitories were overstretched. As a constituency we request you for more funds that will be used prudently,” Mr Odanga said earlier.
The CS directed education managers to dismiss personnel claiming to conduct research in schools on the competence-based curriculum.
“Sponsored crooks are going to schools, conducting baseless research on the CBC. Don’t allow the Society of Educational Research and Evaluation Kenya in our school,” he said, noting the need for the ministry's approval for such exercises.
At the ceremony, the best performing schools and students across Matayos were awarded.