Exams will not be put off, insists CS

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i. FILE PHOTO | NMG
Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i has ruled out postponing national examinations amid uncertainty over the presidential elections date.

Speaking at the Kenya Institution of Curriculum Development (KICD) Monday during a briefing for officers who will monitor the national tests, Dr Matiang’i said he is yet to receive communication from the electoral commission on possible change of dates.

“We like dealing in a formal way; the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) has not communicated to us of any date change regarding the elections,” said the CS.

“If they decide to change the date then we will come back to the public, but what I can assure you is that the examination calendar will not change.”

Earlier this month, Supreme Court nullified the results of the presidential election held on August 8 and ordered a new poll within 60 days.
IEBC declared the re-run of the election would be held on October 17.

According to the timetable already sent out to schools, the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination will begin on October 31 and end on November 2 while KCSE theory papers will start on November 6 and end on November 29.

Nasa leader Raila Odinga early this month called for the postponement for two weeks of national examinations to allow for the repeat presidential election.

Mr Odinga has now vowed to boycott the poll if a list of demands are not met. On Sunday he launched a nationwide campaign “against any election” run by the current electoral commission, which he accuses of rigging the first poll.

Paris-based OT-Morpho that supplied the electronic system used in Kenya’s nullified election last month has told the country’s election board that its technology would not be ready to use again by October 17.

Dr Matiangi said President Uhuru Kenyatta had directed the Ministry to ensure that the examination calendar is not affected in any way.

“We are doing all we can to ensure that the examinations are carried out as scheduled. We will provide all the required security to our children to ensure they sit their examinations,” added the CS.

The Kenya National Union of Teachers (Knut) Secretary General Wilson Sossion speaking at the same event said national examinations programmes should not be politicised.

“For any nation children come first. The dates as set out and as outlined should not be altered for whatsoever reason,” said Mr Sossion.

He said the national examinations are very critical for Kenyan children. “Whether there are changes on the elections dates, we will stand to defend the exams calendar. The two events are independent.”