Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha with Nairobi’s Roysambu Primary School head teacher Nelius Njoroge and Standard Eight candidates yesterday. [Boniface Okendo, Standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has announced that national examinations slated to take place in March 2021 are ready.

About 1.9 million candidates are scheduled to sit the  Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations which were initially slated to kick off from October 27 and November 4 respectively.

The exams were, however, postponed to next year owing to disruptions to the academic calendar caused by Covid-19 pandemic.

Encourage candidates

“The examinations are now ready and are very simple. Let parents encourage their children to continue preparing. I must also applaud the teachers for the manner in which they have covered the time table,” said Prof Magoha during a visit to Roysambu Primary School in Nairobi.

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Magoha yesterday also reiterated that schools will re-open on January 4, 2021, noting the Government would do whatever it takes to ensure 100 per cent preparedness.

“There may be challenges when we re-open, but we shall altogether deal with them as they come. This is a very serious issue and people should stop politicising it because Covid-19 is here to stay and we must adapt,” he said.

Magoha further said the Government would provide protective masks for approximately three million learners from poor families.

“We shall not provide masks to everybody because I strongly believe a large number of families can afford Sh100 to buy masks,” he said.

He said boarding learners whose parents might not be able to pay school fees due to the economic impact of Covid-19 should be allowed to continue learning as modalities of payment is being sorted.

CAS Mumina Waqo measures one of the desks at Labstock supplies in Nyali, Mombasa County before they are dispatched to primary and secondary schools. [Omondi Onyango,Standard]

In terms of countrywide preparedness to re-open and adherence to the Covid-19 measures, the CS said Rift Valley is doing well with Uasin Gishu County  at 80 per cent/ He said Siaya was at over 80 per cent while Nyandarua and Nyeri are at over 70 per cent.

“We have few challenges in the North Eastern part of the country where we are below 50 per cent, but something is being done about it. Turkana County is also doing poorly at about 12 per cent but we are focused there and we shall deliver before January 4, 2020,” Magoha said.

School desks

At the same time, the Ministry of Education has blamed artisans for the delay in payment for the new design school desks procured by the State.

Magoha yesterday said the Government has released the money and it is being paid directly to the artisans.

He, however, cited hitches in effecting payment in two tranches.

“For instance, if you are receiving Sh300,000, it is being paid in two tranches and if you had a little money in your phone, even if it is Sh20, then it blocks the payment and causes a lot of delays,” Magoha said.

“I want to appeal to the artisans that once the money has entered their phones, they should withdraw it so that they can receive the next batch of payment,” he said.

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