Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has dismissed reports that the ministry is mulling postponing national examinations amid the Coronavirus pandemic that has thrown the school calendar into disarray.
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations are scheduled to start on November 2 and end on November 3, while the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams are set to start on November 4 and end on November 30.
In a statement on Monday, the CS said that it’s too early for the government to think of postponing the examinations.
“We have still not reached a stage where we are saying we are going to postpone this [exams]…don’t put words into our own mouth. if and when the time comes we shall tell you whether issues like exams will still be held, ” Pro. Magoha said.
“As at now, I as the head of the sector I don’t see a reason why we should postpone exams. Don’t listen to people making noise out there.”
He called on parents to be patient as the government fights the COVID-19 menace.
“There is no reason why any parent should be anxious because when the time comes we shall actually tell them what they should do and there are several scenarios and they will be shocked perhaps they were getting blood pressure for nothing (sic), ” he added.
On the issue of opening dates, the CS said as long as the Ministry of Health through CS Mutahi Kagwe has not given the ministry the green light on the COVID-19 health crisis, schools will remain closed.
“School has been out for three weeks since the government announced the pandemic. What we should ask about is whether schools will open on the May 1, or May 2, as planned. But we are not going to risk the lives of our children because dead people don’t take exams. I would encourage parents to remain calm. We have not reached the point to say we will postpone this or that,” stated Magoha.
“When the time is ripe we will tell you the various options which depend on what Kagwe will say.”
The Ministry of Education, Mogoha said, is committed to ensuring learners are able to access learning materials/content online (e-learning) throughout the period the calendar will be affected.
“For the children who can’t access online education, that is being addressed using various machinery,” he stated.
The CS noted that the materials can be accessed for free by learners in public schools. He, however, noted that the case may be different for private schools where the material are created by private teachers who are not on the government payroll.
Mogoha further said University students in government institutions would not need to pay for their online courses.