In a significant shift, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has implemented changes in the collection process for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination papers. Effective for the 2023 KCSE candidates, Centre Managers and Exam Supervisors will now collect KCSE exams twice daily from designated containers. In contrast, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) papers will continue to be collected once daily.
Key Dates for KCSE Exams:
– Commencement: 23/10/2023
– Ending (including Physics practicals): 24/11/2023
– A total of 1,143 containers will be deployed to store KPSEA, KCPE, and KCSE exams.
– Among these, 576 distribution centers or containers will be allocated for the storage of KPSEA and KCPE examinations, while 567 containers will be dedicated to the distribution of KCSE papers.
– To accommodate 13 newly established sub-counties lacking containers, the council has acquired an extra 82 containers.
Reasoning Behind the Change:
Ezekiel Machogu, the Education Cabinet Secretary, explained that this modification aims to enhance exam security. Under the revised procedure, morning papers will be collected in the morning, and afternoon papers will be retrieved in the afternoon. This adjustment is designed to reduce the possibility of exam papers being prematurely accessed by candidates, thus mitigating cheating risks.
During the 46th Kessha annual national conference in Mombasa, Indimuli Kahi, Chairman of the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association, urged KNEC to provide assurance to principals regarding the prevention of exam paper leaks in 2023. Kahi raised questions about the origin of leaked papers, emphasizing the collective responsibility of the nation in addressing this issue.
While some suggested adopting practices from countries like Swaziland, Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang highlighted the existing trust deficit in Kenya. Kipsang emphasized that building trust is crucial for implementing more flexible examination procedures.
Kipsang expressed concern over the need for armed security during national exams, contrasting this with the absence of such measures during internal school-based assessments. He urged principals to foster trust between educators and students.
Grading System Review:
Indimuli Kahi, Kessha Chairperson, advocated for a review of the grading system. He argued that the current structure, which combines English grammar and literature, may disadvantage students with strengths in one area but challenges in the other. Kahi suggested a fairer evaluation system to better accommodate diverse student abilities.