The government has beefed up security in Kerio Valley to allow Kenya Certificate of Primary Education candidates to sit for their exams without disruption.
Elgeyo Marakwet county commissioner John Korir said they have deployed enough security officers to 33 schools they have mapped to be at risk to ensure candidates sit the exam.
In Marakwet East, pupils from seven primary schools were allowed to sit their National examinations in their schools despite not attaining the number of candidates as per the Ministry of Education requirement of a minimum of 30 candidates.
Kilos primary school with 15 students, Koitilial 20 candidates and Chepkum 27 are some schools identified by education officials and will be additionally manned by at least four security officers.
“’We are prepared as a security team to see proper and secure administration of National examination this year. We have deployed enough security, especially in parts of Kerio Valley, and we will closely monitor to avoid any ugly incident,” said Korir.
The officials said 106 schools in the county with less than 30 candidates have been merged with other centres to ease exam administration.
There are 16,110 candidates who will sit for their National examinations in Elgeyo Marakwet in 397 centres. This includes 8,132 girls and 7,978 boys.
He said other secondary schools are also sitting for practical papers and the team are also monitoring.
Korir also called upon parents to keep cool as the team is dispatching and administering examinations, saying that there is no school without security officers.
“This is a national exam and being national examination, we are not giving anything to chance, be it security or candidates welfare is given priority,” said Korir.
In the neighbouring West Pokot County, distribution of exams papers kicked off with the area county commissioner Apollo Okello supervised the opening of exam centres in Kapenguria.
Okello said enough security officers have been deployed in hot spot areas along the West Pokot and Elgeyo Marakwet borders.
“I want to give an assurance we have adequate security personnel and extra security officers who are undertaking patrol in troubled areas. We don’t expect any problem or any challenge during this exercise,” said Mr Okello.
The Ministry of Education confirmed that all the necessary preparations have been put in place to ensure a humble time for the candidates all over the county.
West Pokot Sub County Education Director Charles Imanyara said the examination materials distribution started well without any hitches.
Some 4,150 candidates are sitting for the KCPE examination in 165 examination centres and schools in the county.
“We have few girls, 2,100 sitting for the exam. We have the private sector, where 25 candidates are doing exams in Makutano primary,” he said.
Imanyara said that there are no challenges of weather in the area as it has been in the past years because there is no rainfall at the moment.
“We are not witnessing heavy rainfall in the area, and it may come on the third day, Center managers have collected exam materials,” he said.
He said pregnancy cases in the county have dropped and lauded administrators for sensitizing locals on the vice.
“We laud chiefs, assistant county commissioners, parents, and teachers for the sensitization they have done,” said Mr Imanyara.