This year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations started on a sad note after a principal was killed and two other people injured in a road accident.
The accident occurred along the Naivasha-Maai Mahiu road at 5am as the principal rushed to collect examination papers in Naivasha town.
Mary Macharia, the principal of Reverend Gitau Secondary School in Maai Mahiu, was in the company of another teacher when the vehicle they were travelling in rammed a stalled lorry near Governor’s Camp.
The injured were taken to the Kijabe Mission Hospital, while the deceased was taken to Naivasha Sub-county Hospital mortuary.
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Meanwhile, the government is investigating an alleged plot to leak KCSE exams in parts of Nyanza region.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday claimed his office had intelligence on a cheating syndicate mooted by certain principals across Nyanza. Prof Magoha warned that anyone caught abetting cheating would face dire consequences.
Speaking in Kisumu yesterday after overseeing the start of the examinations, the Cabinet secretary said the government had put Nyanza on the radar after receiving intelligence reports.
According to the CS, the school heads, who also double up as examination centre managers of the affected schools, had already received money from parents which was to be used to compromise examination officials.
“They have already identified supervisors who will be paid Sh120,000, Sh60,000 for invigilators and Sh40,000 for security officers,” said Magoha who supervised the opening of exam containers in Kisumu.
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To execute the deal, the schools had identified a number of teachers who would be used to answer questions and the answers would be sneaked to examination rooms for candidates to copy.
And at least 50 candidates whose parents were recently evicted from Maasai Mau forest in the second phase of the forest restoration exercise wrote their examinations without a hitch.
Narok South Deputy County Commissioner Felix Kisalu said the candidates were being hosted in neighbouring schools near the examination centres.
Mr Kisalu also confirmed that despite the existence of 15 unregistered primary schools in the 17,101-acre land, there was no single secondary school in the area.
Elsewhere, five candidates in Nakuru County wrote their examinations at the Rift Valley Provincial General Hospital.
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Three of the five are girls who had given birth at the facility, while the other two are ailing boys receiving treatment.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) chief executive Julius Jwan, who supervised the distribution of exam papers in Nakuru town, said at least three KCPE examination centres were relocated in Samburu County, while a helicopter was used to transport examination papers in Kajiado County.
“Examination is going on smoothly and we will ensure all Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) regulations are observed. We are in contact with education officials who will advise us on challenges, for instance floods or relocation of centres, for solutions,” said Jwan.
Two KCSE candidates are sitting their exams at Kapenguria County Hospital after they gave birth before the exam started.
A new mother was among the 93,236 students in Western region who sat this year’s KCSE examinations.
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The student from St Mary’s Ebusambe Secondary School in Matungu sub-county sat her examinations in the hospital hours after delivering twins. She welcomed her double bundle of joy on Sunday evening.
Another candidate from Koyonzo Boys High School in the same sub-county was rushed to hospital during the English Paper 1 examination.
The student is said to have undergone surgery last Friday and was recuperating well, but was forced to halt his first paper midway to get treatment at Capital Clinic Koyonzo.
Principals braved the chilly morning to pick exam materials from the Kakamega container in the presence of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) Chairman John Onsati and Kakamega County Commissioner Pauline Dola.
Dr Onsati and the county commissioner later paid impromptu visits to 28 exam centres in the region.
Exams also kicked off smoothly in Coast, according to County Director of Education Samuel Wanjohi.
“We have not experienced any hitch or cheating in the examination so far. The examination started well in the county,” said the education director yesterday.
At Maragua District Hospital, a candidate from Nginda Mixed Secondary School sat her examination in the labour ward.
She developed labour pains, prompting the school to rush to the health facility.
At Kiangunyi and Kiairathe secondary schools in Kangema, two candidates who had discontinued attending school after they conceived were among those who sat their examinations yesterday.
Murang’a County Director of Education Annie Killu said the examination kicked off without hitches reported.
On transportation of the examination papers, she ordered all the centre managers to use schools vehicles rather than personal or hired means.
[Antony, Gitonga, Mercy Kahenda, Robert Kiplagat, Nikko Tanui and Gilbert Kimutai, Stephen Rutto, Osinde Obare, Irisheel Shanzu, Nathan Ochunge, Ignatius Odanga and Brian Kisanji, Kevin Omollo, Renson Mnyamwezi, Boniface Gikandi]
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