The KCSE exam is being marked in 28 centres in Nairobi and environs.
The Star has established that the exercise will end December 15, making it possible for candidates to know their results before Christmas. Some 663,811 students sat the exam.
The centres are national schools that meet specific standards laid down by the Education and Interior ministries. Officials from Knec, Education and Interior ministries and security agencies met at a hotel near State House to plan the whole process.
“The dorms must have cubicles where only one teacher or two can sleep,” an insider privy to the meeting’s deliberations said.
Nairobi and environs were selected to minimise transport costs and logistical challenges. The schools include Starehe Girls Centre and School, Mangu High, Pangani Girls, Alliance Girls, Alliance High and Machakos Boys, among others.
Examiners will not leave their stations before the process is completed to ensure transparency. More than 4,000 teachers have been deployed for the marking.
On the first day, the teachers mark two papers from each county to set the national grades.
“It is called coding. They mark a specific number of papers from each county to set the marking grades,” a teacher who was involved in the preparations said.
The exams were stored at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport and transported under tight security to exams centers.
“When they arrived from Britain, they were stored at JKIA before being taken to 10,075 examination centres across the country. Education CS Amina Mohamed supervised the process. She even slept at the JKIA waiting for papers in instances they delayed,” a ministry official said on condition of anonymity.
The exam papers arrived in more than three batches before they were dispatched to schools. The ministry did not hire officials to repackage them to avoid any leakage, pushing the top government officials to execute the exercise.