The government has announced plans to deploy air support to areas that will be mapped out to be affected by the coming El Nino rains during the national examinations in November.
Speaking during a meeting with education field officers from the coast region at Shimo la Tewa High School in Mombasa, Basic Education principal secretary Belio Kipsang said that they were working with other government officials in mapping out areas to be affected by the rains.
Kipsang said that they were implementing the delivering as one approach in government by working with various stakeholders both in the education and security sectors to ensure that they are well prepared for what is coming.
“We are preparing for exams at a time when we are expecting the El Nino rains to come. We will map out regions that will be cut by flooding and put in place plans to ensure exams and invigilators get to exam centers on time,” said PS Kipsang.
He said that the program will also include regional and county commissioners who will coordinate the activity in the identified regions.
The meeting was held in Mombasa and attended by all six county commissioners and their deputies led by the coast regional commissioner, members of the region and count security teams.
In attendance were also a team from the ministry of education and TSC, KEPSHA, KESSHA, and KNUT were also represented.
“Together we are working to mobilize all the equipment including our helicopters both in police, military, forestry service, and in KWS, to support our children during examinations,” added Mr. Kipsang
The mapping will be led by regional commissioners with support from county commissioners and their deputies as part of the national government administrative structure.
Kipsang reiterated the government’s commitment and readiness to administer the examinations as he assured the learners of government’s measures to ensure that their examinations would not be disrupted by the rains.
“We have looked at conditions and it is more than 90 percent predicted that there will be rains. We wouldn’t want to wish away what is about to happen and it would be totally unfair if that was to happen yet we have been advised it is going to be a challenge,” he said.
In addition, Kipsang also assured students in insecurity-prone areas like Lamu County that the government had put in place plans to ensure their security during the examination period.
Kipsang said that through the one approach and delivering as one in government, they have been working with security teams who have assured the ministry that they have mapped out the areas and that the safety of the children will be secured as they do their examinations.
About 3.5 million candidates are set to sit for their national examinations this year
1.4 million of them are set for the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations, while 1.2 million will sit for the Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) as around 900,000 candidates registered for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations.
The PS also said that the education ministry had put measures to ensure examiners, invigilators, markers, and security personnel among other individuals involved in the administration of national examinations receive their pay on time to avoid any issues.
On the other hand, Kipsang called for the need to deal with the issue of trust deficit during the administration of exams saying that there was no need to engage police officers in exam
“Let us endeavor to end this trust deficit during national examinations We need to get back the trust we had in the teaching profession, why don’t we see mock exams leaking yet we are the ones who set, administer, and mark them? We can also do it with the national exams,” Kipsang said.
He cautioned schools against having extra-curricular activities in the third term to allow for candidates to prepare well for examinations warning teachers not to send students, especially candidates home for school fees in the third term in order to minimize exposing them to incidences like accidents that might affect them as they prepare for exams.
“Let’s stop these external activities in the third term so that we give our students especially candidates more time to prepare,” he said.
He also raised alarm with the insurgence of school fires and protests warning that pupils found culpable will be treated as criminals at the same time called on both teachers and parents to widen their scope of engagement with the students to enlighten them that choices have consequences.
Kipsang asked principals to strengthen the guiding and counselling department adding that the ministry was also working on the same.