The Ministry of Education has announced last-minute rules ahead of the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination that is set to begin on Monday, March 7.
The Chairperson of the Private Schools Association in Taita Taveta, Rosina Kitate, noted that communication from the Ministry of Education had indicated that KCPE candidates will not be allowed into examination rooms with handkerchiefs.
Kitate added that the pupils will also not be allowed to wear wristwatches or ties when sitting the national exam in their respective centres.
KCPE students prior to sitting a test
“In previous years, candidates were allowed to access examination rooms with handkerchiefs but this year, they will be prohibited. Wristwatches and ties will also not be allowed in exam rooms,” she noted.
The private schools representative acknowledged that the new move would play a great role to reduce examination cheating, noting that the new rules may have been introduced based on research carried out by officials from the ministry.
However, she claimed that teachers were not consulted as stakeholders – adding that the embargo, especially on handkerchiefs was stringent and inconsiderate.
The teacher noted that the KCPE exam creates a lot of tension and nervousness among candidates.
“Sometimes these children get nervous during their exams and sweat and may need handkerchiefs. The candidates had also been trained on how to time themselves during the exams using their stopwatches,” she remarked.
On matters of the school calendar, she noted that the students were adequately prepared for the exam despite the squeezed time.
On February 25, CS Magoha exposed a new for examination cheating. He noted that some officials from the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) who were buying candidates’ data promising schools good results.
He warned parents and school heads from engaging in the malpractice noting that it would only land the candidates into trouble.
“We want to warn principals, especially those who want to give certain people index numbers of their children in the hope of getting fake examination results. They should stop wasting their time.
“If you have a lot of money to waste, take it to the church so that it can be used there. We are watching the people who are concerned. We already know them including their contacts in KNEC,” reiterated the outspoken CS.