CS Matiang’i points out how poll could disrupt learning

The repeat presidential election could disrupt the school calendar for next year, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i warned Monday.

He said programmes such as placement and selection of Form One students and the roll-out of free secondary education programmes are among activities that could be disrupted.

“Other activities will be new frameworks and policies. This is the shortest term and it’s only six weeks that are remaining.

“Our fingers remain crossed and we hope the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission will consider our proposal to have the election by October 17,” Dr Matiang’i, who spoke at Jogoo House in Nairobi, before the Independent and Electoral Boundaries Commission announced that the repeat poll will actually be held on October 17, said.

He said Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates will start sitting some of their practical subjects from October 23.

Preparations for both the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and KCSE including the setting, printing and packaging of examination papers have been concluded, he said.

In 2012, then Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo changed the examination dates following a three-week teachers’ strike to make up for lost time during the boycott.

KCPE was pushed to between December 4 and December 6 from the earlier date of November 13 to 15 while KCSE, which had been scheduled for September 26 of that year was moved to October 15.

The first term of 2013 started a month late, on February 4, instead of early January.

“Our plan is not dependent on IEBC, we have been planning since January, and we were done with the issue of timetable before the end of first term.

“Our plan and timetable is intact and we do not want to interfere it,” Dr Matiang’i said.

“We have sensitized the IEBC on the plan and they have assured us that they may consider it. If it does not work, we have a plan B, which is to reorganise the whole timetable and programmes.”

As per the timetables already sent out to schools, the KCPE will begin on October 31 and end on November 2, while KCSE will start on November 6 and end on 29.

“There is a child in every home including in the homes of IEBC officers and we are saying that we should not forget the children in this equation, so the players should consider that children have their rights and that postponing examinations will not be appropriate,” Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) chairman George Magoha said.

A total of 1,003,556 candidates will sit for KCPE while 615,773 will sit for KCSE.

At the same time, Dr Matiang’i said Knec has set up 419 containers in all sub-counties, which will also act as distribution centres for examination materials.

“The increase in number of containers, from 346 in 2016, will ensure that there is fast and seamless distribution of examination materials to all centres,” he said, adding that the council has recruited 5,916 more examiners to match the increased candidature.

“The council will therefore have 5,512 examiners for KCPE and 21,828 for KCSE. The new examiners were trained in April,” he said.

Ministry asks IEBC not to interfere with exam timetable.

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