KCPE candidate prepare for exams
A candidate died and more than ten others wrote their examination in hospital as this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams kicked off across the country, yesterday.
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha who was in Mombasa and Kwale to supervise the start of KCPE, said helicopters would be used to evacuate stranded candidates and deliver materials to remote and flood-hit parts of Coast region.
Some of the affected schools are Majengo,Fanjua, Mkomani, Masalani, Kilindini and Gubani — all in Galole Constituency.
Examinations were delayed in parts of Tana Delta due to late arrival of material because of bad roads. More than 400 candidates in flood-prone Ganze and Kauma in Kilifi were evacuated while 15 centres were moved to other ares as a result of flooding.
Speaking at the Coast Regional Coordinator’s office yesterday, Magoha said the Government has put in place contingency plans to ensure all examination materials remain intact and are received at centres on time.
“We are aware of the rains that have continued to pound several areas of the republic such as Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir and parts of Tana River. We are also on standby to cover Lamu,” he said.
In Gilgil, Nakuru County, Interior and National Coordination Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i ordered relocation of candidates from an examination centre he declared unsafe for the pupils.
Dr Matiang’i declared that 41 candidates out of 89 who were set to write their exams were in in a deplorable classrooms with cracked walls sealed with polythene bags while the ceiling was falling. The entrance of the two classrooms were also flooded with water.
“Surely, in which state is this classroom? We look as if we are joking with lives of our children. Examination can wait for about 10 minutes so that we evacuate examiners to safer rooms,” said the CS.
He ordered Gilgil National Youth Service Station Commander Isaac Ndirangu to assign officers to clean alternative classrooms for relocation of the candidates.
He further directed sub-county Deputy Commissioner Joel Ndambuki to supervise repair of the classrooms.
The CS also prayed for 167 candidates at Gilgil Garrison Primary School.
Elsewhere, four candidates in Nakuru, Narok and Bomet counties wrote their KCPE tests in hospitals after giving birth.
A head teacher in Bomet County was also arrested for being drunk and disorderly when he went to pick the examination papers.
In Narok, Philip Wambua, area county director of education confirmed the death of the candidate of Olulung’a Primary School.
Mr Wambua said the candidate collapsed and died at home on the eve of the examinations.
“Details about the death are scanty, but the parents said the child collapsed and died at home on Monday night,” he said, adding that 24,329 candidates had taken the exams at various centres.
In Kericho, two ailing candidates sat their exams at the county hospital.
In Nakuru, poor road network also impacted heavily on the distribution of exam papers to centres in Kuresoi North Constituency.
Some centres received the mathematics papers as late as 10am.
A similar challenge was also witnessed in West Pokot affecting distribution of exam papers to at least 17 examination centres.
According to Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya, the exams were delayed for more than one and half hours.
In Laikipia, the Government beefed up security in schools around Kamwenje, Ol Moran, Matwiku, Sipili, Wangwachi and Eighteen area that have in the recent days witnessed an upsurge of insecurity caused by cattle rustlers.
Area County Commissioner Daniel Nyameti said a contingent of security officers has been sent to the schools and another team was on standby.
Security was also beefed up in examination centers around the Maasai Mau Forest in Narok South where the Government plans to evict some 10,000 families from forestland.
Narok County Commissioner Samuel Kimiti said all schools in the neighbourhood that are exam centres would be guarded throughout the period of the exam.
In Nandi, Director of Education Willy Machocho said despite few logistical challenges, the papers were received within the required time.
“The distribution begun as early as 5am and there have been smooth conveyance of papers, otherwise we have not encountered any problem that we say it has hindered examination,” said Mr Machocho.
In Turkana, a chopper was deployed to ferry examination materials to areas affected by floods as two exam officials sustained injuries following a road accident.
Delays to start the exams were reported in several schools because of floods.
Turkana County Director of Education Peter Migiri said the chopper delivered exam materials from Lowarengak exam container to remote centres in Nachukui and Nariokotome primary schools.
Mr Magiri said roads to Kalobeyei, Lokwanya and Oropoi were rendered impassable by the heavy rains, but the examination materials were delivered after the deployment of the chopper.
In western region, more than 70 inmates were among thousands of KCPE candidates who sat the exam.
In Murang’a, a candidate who was forced to skip the exam by teachers was recalled after the intervention of Ministry of Education officials.
Murang’a South deputy Director of Education Ms Rhoda Nguru said the headteacher will be disciplined for going against the Government instruction on management of the examination.
In Embu, exams kicked off despite heavy rains, according to County Commissioner Galgalo Abdullahi.
Mr Abdullahi said a girl at Gatondo Primary School in Manyatta sat the exam at Embu Level Five Hospital after she gave birth on Monday.
Eastern regional education officer Patrick Khaemba said four of the six exam centres affected by floods have been shifted to other areas.
In Meru County, the exercise kicked off smoothly with Government officials warning over cheating.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Margaret Kobia witnessed the opening of the exam container at Buuri before visiting other examination centres in the county.
In Tana River, two candidates at separate centres missed the first paper after falling ill in the examination rooms, while another sat the paper in hospital after giving birth.
At the same time, education officials said they had merged some examination centres due to low enrollment.
Mr Wanjohi said some of the schools have less than 10 candidates against the recommended 15 candidates.