Dr. Belio Kipsang, principal secretary of the Department of Basic Education, made adjustments to the way national exams are handled on Monday, December 5.
Both the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) have been modified as a result of the changes .
Speaking at the opening of a secure storage container carrying KCSE papers, Dr. Kipsang addressed the crowd in the Westlands Sub County of Nairobi County.
The previous administration, the PS claimed, had militarized the exam process.
“When I was in school examination booklets were brought and distributed by our teachers.”
“We need to go back to that system where we do not have police officers providing a round the clock security of national examinations,” Kipsang announced.
The senior PS declared that the only sector in which stakeholders worked under police supervision was the educational sector.
The PS pointed out that, just as police officers do not accompany doctors and nurses into operating rooms, they also should not accompany teachers during the distribution and invigilation of exams.
Kipsang, however, issued a challenge to the country’s educational managers, saying they must prove they are worthy of trust given the significance of the exams to the nation.
“No one should be worried when exam papers are at the hands of education managers and it is up to them to show Kenyans that they can handle materials which are of importance to this country,” he remarked.
The PS said that in the past, the administration had used secure containers to store exams, but that policy was changing.
“The containers should be solely used as storage facilities but not because we have a trust deficit.”
Kipsang declared, “From now on, we will alter the story that we do not trust our teachers by repurposing the containers as storage areas rather than checkpoints.”
In 2017, the then Education Cabinet Secretary declared ‘military precision’ for national exams, warning cheats of stringent measures. Because of this, police officers have become the public face of the KCPE and KCSE administration, and both Matiangi and his successor, Prof. George Magoha, have been criticized for the exercise’s perceived militarization.