The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam will start today amid tight security and new directives to curb cheating.
Education CS Amina Mohamed on Sunday directed documentation of each process from collection of papers to when they are returned to the safety container at subcounty headquarters.
The documentation will be filed as a report and forwarded to a ministry official stationed at the headquarters at the Kenya National Examinations Council.
Center managers will be required to indicate the number of extra scripts issued during collection of the papers and the time papers are collected.
“This will provide data that can be used to verify any issues of shortage or missing scripts,” Amina’s directive says.
The CS is the only person authorised to give a go-ahead on duplication of any exam material.
Invigilators, supervisors or principals are not allowed to photocopy the exam papers.
Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) yesterday warned against purchase and circulation of fake exam papers.
KNEC chairman George Magoha asked officials to pay special attention on early exposure of the exams and communication within and outside the centers that could lead to leakage.
Magoha assured that there will be no delays during the exercise, which is likely to face challenges in parts of the country due heavy rains—particularly in the coastal region and parts of eastern.
Directives to ensure early exposure is put to rest include strict timelines on opening of the exam papers and stoppage time.
Supervisors will have to explain if the exams begin later or before the scheduled time. They will be answerable to delayed stoppage and return of the examination material to the safety containers.
Centre managers will be escorted by police to collect the papers and return them in the evening.
The containers will be under 24-hour guard during the exam period.
Schools will also be required to leave the gates open during the exam hours to to allow impromptu inspection.
According to KNEC a total of 664,585 candidates will sit for the theory papers set to end on the 28th of this month.
The candidates will start off with Mathematics Alternative A and B, and Chemistry Paper 1 and 2.
On Tuesday, the students will sit for their English functional skills, hearing impaired, comprehension, literary appreciation and grammar.
Rehearsals for the papers were conducted last week on Thursday and according to the education ministry, everything has been put in place to ensure the exercise proceeds with no hiccups.
The test is being done across 10,078 centres and 10,460 supervisors. The exam will be invigilated by 37,978 teachers. A total of 20,156 officers have been deployed to provide security and 5,039 drivers tasked with delivery of exam materials.
They will all be paid Sh705 million according to the CS.
Amina said the KNEC data show that the examinations are currently stored in 459 containers across the country.
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations ended last week with Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed, declaring the exercise met the highest integrity standard desired.
Last year, the council canceled results for 1,205 candidates.