Candidates sitting national examinations this year should expect even tougher measures to curb cheating.
Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said on Monday the “trial” by the Ministry of Education in the administration of the Standard Eight and Form Four examinations last year was a success and, therefore, officials expected even better results this year.
He spoke at the Kenya Secondary Schools Heads Association (Kessha) conference at Wild Waters Centre in Mombasa County.
“This time round, I can assure you that students will perform even better because they know that the oxygen will not be there and are psychologically better prepared,” said Dr Kipsang.
He added: “I have visited a number of schools and seen that teachers and students are preparing themselves adequately for these exams. I have no doubt that they will perform better.”
The PS said the government was committed to making free secondary education a reality.
“We shall continue to ensure that we channel resources to our schools and improve them in terms of infrastructure to ensure our students go to better places of learning once the free secondary education programme is implemented,” said Dr Kipsang and reaffirmed the government’s commitment to making sure all Standard Eight pupils transit to secondary school next year.
“We have been preparing to ensure all our children get 12 years of free education,” said Dr Kipsang.
He said the government had injected Sh7 billion in the expansion of 2,500 secondary schools to absorb all primary school leavers.
Said Dr Kipsang: “We have been talking of 80 per cent transition. Where are the others going at age 13, since they cannot all be absorbed by the labour market?”
The expansion will include an additional 2,000 classrooms, 1,000 laboratories and other facilities.
Dr Kipsang said Sh155 million has been set aside to aid schools affected by insecurity and drought.
On improvement of the education programme, Dr Kipsang said the government was, in partnership with The World Bank, working on the Secondary Education Quality Improvement Project (Seqip).
The ministry’s director of projects co-ordination and delivery, Mr Abdi Elyas, said the donor-supported programme will run for six years from January.
“The objective of this programme is to improve secondary learning and transition from primary to secondary school from 80 per cent to 100 per cent,” said Mr Elyas.
The programme, which also targets science, mathematics, English and curriculum reforms, will be implemented with, among others, Teachers Service Commission (TSC), Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) and Institute for Curriculum Reforms.
Dr Kipsang said the report was being studied by the Ministry of Education before its release.
“The task force formed by Cabinet secretaries for Education and the Interior has finished its business,” said Dr Kipsang.
“We have gone through the report and I can assure you that we will implement it so that we do not have such challenges again.”
The PS thanked principals and headteachers for standing with the government during the unrest.