The KCSE exams began smoothly in Garissa yesterday under tight security and officials said a helicopter is on standby to airlift papers to regions that may be inaccessible by rains.
Addressing the media at Iftin Girls, county commissioner James Kianda said Banane, Kulan and Saka secondary schools are more than 50km from collection centers.
Last year Knut officials found fault that head teachers and supervisors had to travel long distances to collect their exams. They said this was not only problematic but also may have added to poor performance. But Kianda said that all exam materials were delivered one hour prior to the authorized starting time.
“By 7.30am all exam materials had been delivered to all the 60 examination centers across the county. This will be the custom. I reassure everyone, as well as the 4,388 candidates that the exams will go on as scheduled. We will do everything humanly possible to make sure no glitches interrupt its smooth running,” Kinada said.
He said the county was working directly with regional commissioner Mohamud Saleh and regional education director Aden Sheikh to make sure a helicopter is accessible if exam papers need to be airlifted to isolated areas. Kianda said security was reinforced along the Somalia border.
Talking separately, Garissa High School chief principal Abdi Maulid said of 171 candidates in his school, only one failed to sit for the exam because he had withdrawn. The school is always among the best performing in the region.
Maulid praised Education CS Fred Matiang’i, saying he had changed the national examination system. He said this year’s test is a marked progress over last year’s.
In Mandera, the delivery of examination papers was delayed in Burduras Secondary school in Mandera West and Rhamu Dimtu in Mandera North because of flooding.