An insider’s account of strict marking of KCSE


Examiners who marked the 2016 KCSE exam have cited tighter security and accountability as some of the 'surprises' they met this year.

As the country awaits the announcement of the Form Four national exam results, some markers are not sure whether or not they will take up the exercise next year given the rigorousness of this year's marking.

In a total break from the past, all marking centres were centralised in Nairobi, a factor that made close monitoring of the exercise possible. Previously, marking centres were stationed in various towns.

At the marking centres, examiners were shocked to discover that the rooms where marking was done and those where scripts were kept were all under 24-hour CCTV surveillance.

"The environment was totally different from what some of us who have been participating in marking over the years are used to," said a teacher who teaches at a secondary school in Siaya County and who sought anonymity.

Scripts were to be taken from the scripts room at 6am and returned at 10pm.

"Initially, we would go to sleep and leave the papers, both marked and unmarked in the marking rooms. But this time round no script was to be left in the marking rooms," the teacher explained.

The effect of this new guideline was that every minute had to be accounted for, and by the time the clock struck 10pm, every examiner wanted to get to their bed and catch sleep before six o'clock when work begins.

Extra Care

"Marking used to be a holiday of sorts to some examiners, as there was that time to have one or two for the road but this time even those who wanted it so badly couldn't," the teacher revealed.

He said the level of fatigue markers suffered could only be cured with a good night rest.

There was extra care when it came to entering marks in the mark-sheet, with a specially assigned person to ensure that what was captured in the examination paper was the same one that was captured in the marking sheet. There was need to be extra-careful to avoid deviation.

There was only one person who could make corrections once the marks had been entered into the Kenya National Examinations Council system, explains another examiner who also sought anonymity.

"There was only one person with a password to the system being used there, and that is probably one of the reasons the marking centres were centralised," he explained.

The administrator moved from one marking centre to the next, making corrections.

Standard Newspaper - 27th December 2016

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