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January 24, 2019

3,000 cops to secure exam centres, tackle emergencies

A police officer guards KCSE candidates sitting for the exam at Garissa high school
A police officer guards KCSE candidates sitting for the exam at Garissa high school

Some 3,000 police officers will be deployed to provide security during the national exams.

They will be drawn from the regular and AP units. Details from the Kenya National Examination Council reveal that 2,150 officers will be spread countrywide across 10,075 centres — each centre getting two.

Another 415 officers will secure containers used for exam papers’ safety. The rest will deal with emergencies. Some 1,060,787 candidates will sit KCPE exam and 663,811 KCSE exam.

“Under circumstances that could force a student to sit an exam outside a centre, the council will provide an invigilator and security personnel to help them,” a Knec official told the Star on the phone yesterday.

One invigilator will be in charge of 20 candidates and a supervisor will have 200 candidates on his or her watch. The supervisors and invigilators will be in exam centres by 6.15am as they await for the centre managers (principals and head teachers) to bring exam scripts from the containers.

This year, the council seeks to have data on more sex characteristics such as intersex and transgender. Previously, candidates were only required to choose between the male and female genders.

“Supervisors will be required to fill in a note giving the variation in sex characteristics of the candidate and any recommendations from what they’ve observed and think should be considered,” Knec principal exam administrator Jacob Omulo said yesterday.

Meanwhile, Knec Board chairman George Magoha revealed plans to release results early. This will be facilitated by centralisation of marking centres in Nairobi.

“We’ll not waste time in marking exams. All systems are in place. The ICT and Education ministries will work together to ensure no time wasting,” he said.

On Saturday, Education CS Amina Mohamed urged teachers to complete their syllabus on time before candidates sit their exams. She said candidates are tempted to cheat when they are ill-prepared.

“We need to endeavour to have zero tolerance to exam cheating and irregularities. Teachers, parents and other stakeholders need to assure our candidates that hard work pays,” Amina said in a statement.

Last year, results of 1,205 KCSE candidates were cancelled because of mobile phone-related offences.

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