The results for this year’ Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examination could be announced this month, the Kenya National Examinations Council has said.
George Magoha, the chairman of the council, said Knec had procured 20 machines at a cost of Sh100 million to enhance marking of scripts.
According to Prof Magoha, acquisition of the automated Optical Mark Recognition machines, is set to reduce the work force by up to 50 per cent.
“Through the aid of the Government, the council has purchased 20 machines which are going to ease the work of marking with great efficiency and we anticipate that the compilation of results will be concluded earlier than any other time before,” Magoha said.
Last year, the KCPE results were released on December 1. This means that this year, the council could announce the results this month.
Magoha was speaking in Nyamira yesterday as he assessed the progress of examinations in the South Nyanza counties of Migori, Kisii, and Nyamira. He said he was satisfied with the way the tests were being conducted.
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i said examination papers were safely distributed across all centres.
In Nairobi, five candidates from two primary schools did not turn up to sit the examinations yesterday.
Two candidates were missing at Olympic Primary School in Kibera while three others missed the morning paper at Kawangare Primary School.
In Turkana County, four examination centres were submerged due to floods.
Three Cabinet secretaries and top Ministry of Education officials took part in monitoring of the distribution of examination papers across the country.
A spot check by The Standard revealed that most candidates turned up on time and the examinations started on schedule.
In Bomet, four pupils sat the examinations at Longisa County Hospital after falling ill.
Bomet County Commissioner Erastus Ekidor and County Director of Education Beatrice Atsyago said the pupils were from different schools.
In Naivasha, 44 inmates sat the examinations. Among them were 16 who are serving life and death sentences.
A total of 1,003,556 candidates are sitting this year’s KCPE across 28,566 examination centres.
The candidates sat the mathematics and English language and composition tests as the examinations kicked off.
The candidates will today sit the science, Kiswahili lugha and insha examinations.
The three-day examination is scheduled to end on November 2 with the science and religious studies papers.
Dr Matiang’i was in Wote, Makueni County, to inspect the distribution of the KCPE examination papers.
Information and Communication Technology Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru was in Nyeri town to oversee the opening and distribution of examination materials to schools.
Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki was in Kiambu town.
The CEO of the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development, Dr Julius Jwan, who spoke in Kisumu, and Migori County Director of Education Luka Kangongo called for calm during the examinations.
At the Kisumu main prison, 27 inmates sitting the examinations expressed optimism that they would excel.
County Director of Education William Sugut said examination papers were dispatched to all the 913 centres across the nine sub-counties in time.
And Rift Valley Regional Coordinator Wanyama Musiambo said the Government had deployed adequate police officers at all examination centres in the counties afflicted by insecurity.
Areas where the officers have been deployed include Laikipia, Tiaty, Baringo South and Kerio Valley in Elgeyo Marakwet and Baringo counties.
Musiambo was speaking in Nakuru, where he witnessed the dispatch of papers to respective examination centres.
The Rift Valley, with 14 counties, has 321,007 candidates sitting the exams.
Also present during the dispatch of the materials was Ministry of Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, who reassured candidates of their security.
In Narok County, security was beefed up in more than 300 schools in Trans Mara East and West as more than 21,000 candidates sat the exams.
Area County Police Commander Thomas Ngeiywa said enough security personnel had been deployed to ensure that the examinations go on uninterrupted.
In Laikipia County, security was beefed up in areas that have lately experienced conflict.
Area County Commander Simon Kipkeu said examinations went on without any interruptions.
In Elgeyo Marakwet, a night attack by cattle rustlers at Murkutwo did not stop candidates from continuing with their examinations.
Area OCPD Lemmy Njiru said there was security in all the examination centres.
Kakamega County Director of Education Fred Kiiru appealed to politicians to keep off examination centres.
The management at Daisy Special School, which last year produced the best candidate countrywide, was also optimstic of posting good results. The head teacher, Rosemary Obiero, said the school has only 22 candidates this year.
Moses Mudavadi Primary School Mululu headteacher Eboso Kihima said he was optimistic that his pupils would post good results.
Vihiga County Director of Education Victoria Mulili said the exams went on without any hitch.
It was also a smooth start in Bungoma County, where 45,388 candidates are sitting the exams.
[Story by Stanley Ongwae, James Omoro, Harold Odhiambo, Edwin Nyarangi, Ignatius Odanga, Chrispin Sechere, Eric Lungai, Philip Mwakio, Mkamburi Mwawasi, Maureen Ongala, Renson Mnyamwezi, Jacinta Mutura, Munene Kamau, Joseph Muchiri, Silah Koskei, Titus Too, Bakari Ange’la, Robert Kiplagat, James Munyeki, Mercy Kahenda, Augustine Oduor, Stephen Nzioka, and Lucas Ngasike]