According to the Cabinet Secretary for Education Prof George Magoha, the marking of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) is still ongoing in some counties, but it has already been completed in others.
“Marking of KCPE in Nairobi, Kiambu, Eastern and Western Counties has been completed. In the remaining counties, completion of the examination marking is almost over,” said Magoha.
Prof Magoha stated that the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) is on track to complete the marking of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Examination (KCPE) within the two-week deadline.
Prof Magoha stated that marking of the 1.2 million candidates’ scripts began on the first day and will be completed in due course.
If this is the case, it will be the second year in a row that KCPE results are released within two weeks of the tests’ completion.
According to Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) sources, the acquisition of the modern Optical Mark Recognition (OMR) system, which electronically scores the papers, has made the marking of multiple-choice questions easier.
The process of capturing marked data from candidates’ answer sheets using specialized scanning is known as OMR.
The machines use a dedicated scanning device that shines a light beam on the paper.
The contrasting reflection at predetermined positions on a page is then used to detect marked areas, which reflect less light than blank areas of paper.
Unlike previous technology, which took many hours, the new machines mark scripts in batches of 100 or 200 sheets
Magoha stated in an earlier interview that the council’s old machines were nearly 20 years old and had become obsolete.
“This was the reason results for previous years took long to be compiled and eventually released. But this time, results will be accurate and precise,” Magoha said.
He claimed that the old machines were prone to errors, reducing efficiency in marking and releasing results.
According to Magoha, OMR machines have improved marking accuracy and reduced human interaction with candidate results.
According to insiders, the new marking machine has been fine-tuned to speed up the tallying of Kiswahili Insha and English Composition marks, which were previously done manually by examiners.
The two papers are still graded by hand. However, physical counts are no longer used to calculate grades.
The marked scripts are scanned by OMR machines to verify the marks in record time compared to previous years when tallying was done manually.
After marking the Insha and Composition scripts, the examiners will hand over the papers to the new machine, which will perform electronic mark tallying in record time.
In addition to reducing cheating, examination officials stated that they are banking on improved marking efficiency to release KCPE results earlier than in the past.
OMR is one of several security measures that will improve the accuracy and credibility of the results.