Ministry bans mocks and joint examinations

The Ministry of Education has reminded schools across the country that Mock and joint examinations remain banned.

This follows a recommendation from the Parliamentary Committee on Education and a Special Investigation Team on student unrest.

In a letter to County Directors of Education, Basic Education PS Belio Kipsang directed all schools to desist from holding any inter-school examinations, citing that the latter will interfere with the school calendar.

“All schools are advised to desist from holding any inter-school examinations as this will interfere with the school calendar,” Kipsang said in a letter dated July 6, 2023.

The Parliament Committee on Education chaired by David Koech, and the Special Investigations Team chaired by Claire Omollo attributed exam phobia to mock exams as one of the main causes of student unrest.

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PS Kipsang further directed all County and Sub-County Directors of Education to ensure that all schools within their jurisdictions adhered to the new directive and prevent any occurrence of the same.

“The purpose of this circular is to ask you to bring this to the attention of all schools within your jurisdiction and take corrective measures to stop any occurrence,” the letter read.

Earlier, the Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (KESSHA) advocated for the ban on joint mock exams.

In previous proposals, the ministry sought to replace mock exams with Continuous Assessment Tests (CATs) arguing that the practice had been commercialised by different schools.

In June, three schools in Garissa township were closed abruptly due to student unrest.

Garissa High School, County High School and Boystown Secondary School were closed indefinitely following violent protests that resulted in damage to school property.

Boystown Secondary School students went on a rampage within and outside the school compound pelting teachers with stones and breaking into offices destroying computers, printers and other school property as teachers watched in shock.

Commenting on the matter, Garissa Deputy County Commissioner Solomon Chesut said the bigger issue causing the trouble is midterm exam phobia.

“All issues raised are not genuine, it doesn’t make sense for students to be allowed to not wear uniform within the school, schools have rules and regulations that are to be followed,” Cheust said.

According to Chesut, the unrest ensued following a directive by the institutions banning the wearing of uniforms with pockets during examinations to prevent possible cheating.

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