Marking of the just-concluded Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam has begun.

This comes even as the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exam started on Friday.

Basic Education PS Julius Jwan on Friday said marking is being conducted by teachers contracted by the Kenya National Examination Council. He said both electronic and manual marking were underway. The council has engaged the services of 7,000 examiners.

“We’ve begun marking the KCPE exam and are very impressed in the manner the examination was run. We definitely expect the same for the KCSE exam,” Jwan said.

Since 2017, Knec has been using a hybrid marking system with manual and electronic elements. Electronic detection of answers on candidates’ answer sheets covers five subjects with multiple choices—Mathematics, English, Kiswahili, Science, Social Studies and Religious Education. Optical mark recognition machines acquired in 2017 are used.

However, Kiswahili Insha and English Composition are marked by contracted teachers.

Jwan urged the contracted teachers to consider taking the Covid-19 jab to help curb the spread of the virus. He said the process is rigorous and huge personnel is involved, hence the need for precaution.

The PS did not say how long the marking of KCPE would take or when results would be released. However, in the previous three years when the exam was administered, the results were announced about three weeks from the time marking started.

If this is anything to go by, candidates will know their scores by mid-April. They will then be expected to report to Form 1 in July, as schools for the first time begin their calendar later than January.

Jwan spoke in Kibra, Nairobi, during the distribution of KCSE exam papers. He noted that the exam had started smoothly and no delays were witnessed. The PS attributed the situation to the favourable weather condition.

He said students displaced for one reason or another had been moved to other institutions to take their tests.

“We cannot punish young children for our own mistakes as adults, you can notice in a place like Kisii, we had eight candidates who went on for learning for a whole year but were not registered and they sat exams in a different centre,” Jwan said.

Meanwhile, Education CS George Magoha was in Kisii county to oversee the distribution of exam material.

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