National exams candidates could be forced to wait longer to sit their final year transition tests as the government fights to contain the spread of coronavirus.
For the better part of Monday, April 6, officials of Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) were holed up in a crisis meeting to chart the way forward.
But opinion remained divided among education stakeholders on whether the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KSCE) examinations should be postponed until the Covid-19 situation improves.
At least two million candidates are scheduled to sit their KCPE (at least 700,000) and KCSE (over one million) exams.
KNEC chief executive, Mercy Karogo, said no decision has been taken yet.
“Let us cross that bridge when we get there,” said Ms. Karogo.
But KNEC sources revealed that the government may consider postponing the exams.
“The government is likely to make a firm decision on April 16 when the 30-day period lapses,” the source said.
KNEC already postponed Early Childhood and Development (ECDE) and Diploma in Special Needs Eduation examinations that were set to be held later in April.
On Monday, Mr. Akello Misori, who is the secretary-general of the Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet), said the environment is not conducive for national exams.
“We maintain our position that the government should consider revising the school calendar, with a view of having KCSE and KCPE exams postponed,” said Mr. Misori.
The second term is scheduled to begin on May 4, which is less than a month away but schools may not reopen if Covid-19 cases continue to rapidly increase as projected.
Health officials have projected that coronavirus cases will jump to 5,000 by mid-April and reach 10,000 by end of the month.
Mr. Misori said countries such as Chile, China, France, Japan, Spain and Vietnam have already postponed national exams.