Scanning machines speeded up exam marking

Wednesday November 22 2017

kcpe results

From left: Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia, ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru and Education CS Fred Matiang'i at KICD during the release of the KCPE exam results on November 21, 2017. The ministry initiated reforms to ensure credible results. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By OUMA WANZALA
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The acquisition of 20 new scanning machines that cost Sh100 million enabled the marking of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination to be completed in two weeks.

Speaking during the release of the results on Tuesday, Kenya National Examinations Council chairman George Magoha explained how the machines made marking easy.

The new optical mark readers replaced 20 old scanners bought more than 17 years ago.

“I want to guarantee you, and you can take it to the bank, that there shall be no complaint because your marks are at 99.98 per cent, which means that each child will get what is due to him or her,” Prof Magoha said.

EXAM MATERIALS
He went on: “The new machines, for the record, are more efficient and accurate when it comes to processing examinations.”

The chairman said last year, he wrote index numbers for more than 20,000 candidates but this was not the case this year.

“This year, we printed the name, centre name and index number on the examination materials and this enabled us to move very quickly with the marking,” he added.

He said for composition, sign language and braille, for those with hearing and vision impairment, the council engaged 5,316 teachers who completed the work within five days.

“On return of exam scripts, we improved the way of packing, with a code being introduced to ensure that no materials that are not part of the examination get its way,” he said.

TECHNOLOGY
He said the new equipment enabled the council to detect that a script had been left out and it was traced to Nakuru County.

It was brought in for marking after two days.

ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru explained how technology was used at every level of processing the exam.

“Technology provided good security. You could put a pile of scripts and the machines mark from both sides,” Mr Mucheru said.

Prof Magoha said as the government had promised in 2016, this year’s national exam was secured until every Kenyan child was given an equal opportunity to take the test at the same time.