President Uhuru Kenyatta today assured all candidates that the coming national examinations will be fair and more secure than ever before.
The President said the government was committed to ensuring quality and integrity in the country’s education system.
President Kenyatta told those sitting for both the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations this year that they have nothing to fear but should prepare adequately.
“I wish to assure you that this year’s examinations will be, even more fair and secure than ever before,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State spoke when he hosted the finalists of the 2018 Kenya National Music Festivals to a colourful winners’ concert at Sagana State Lodge in Nyeri County.
The President said the grades each candidate will get will be the sole product of their hard work and a reflection of their true level of preparedness and performance.
“They have nothing to fear from examinations, if they have been diligent and prepared adequately,” the Head of State added.
President Kenyatta observed that the character of the students is more important than the grades they eventually get in examinations.
“You are not a factor of your grades, you are a factor of your character,” said President Kenyatta.
The President at the same time announced plans to allow tax-free importation of music equipment to ensure that institutions of learning can easily acquire them to promote music in schools.
The Head of State noted that the high cost of the music instruments was a major hindrance for schools to teach music in their institutions.
President Kenyatta also announced that a request by the Kenya National Music Festival Executive Committee for a budgetary allocation, divorced from the Ministry of Education, will be considered.
The winners’ concert brought together 27 teams drawn from across the country and featured the best performances in set pieces, original compositions, folk songs, folk dances, oriental music, own choices of created pieces and elocution verses in various languages.
The 27 winning finalists were sampled from a total of 600 categories that participated in the 11-day annual event, bringing together performances from all levels of education from the the Early Childhood Development (ECD) pupils to University students.
Although all the 27 finalists from respective regions were categorised as winners, Nairobi County emerged the overall winner of the festivals. The 2018 national festivals were held at the Dedan Kimathi University of Science and Technology.
The theme of this year’s fete was enhancing national cohesion and integration, which the students aptly interpreted through various sub-themes including peace and reconciliation, national cohesion, self-employment, the Big-4 Agenda, cultural diversity, anti-graft issues and agriculture among others.
“This year’s theme is not just for the Festival, but a theme of Kenya’s national life,” observed President Kenyatta.
The Head of State commended performers for superbly bringing out pertinent issue of national unity and reconciliation showing that men and women of different political persuasions and opposing opinions in virtually every matter can come together in the service of unity.
“There was a clear understanding right across the country that, whatever our differences the unity of the country, comes first,” the President said.
In the spirit of regional cooperation, the President said he was particularly delighted that over the last two years, the ministries of Education in Kenya and Uganda had run an exchange programme under the East African Music, Dance and Drama Festivals.
“I will continue to push for even more African countries to join us in this programme, for, as you know, I believe in and cherish Pan-Africanism,” said President Kenyatta.
The Head of State added: “Once other partner states get on board, we shall be on the way to attaining cultural integration, and the quicker the better.”
President Kenyatta added that music and dance have the power to bring people together, to bridge divides and to create a common identity.
Some of the outstanding performers in this year’s festival will be headed to the neighbouring country to attend the Uganda Music and Drama Festival. Ugandan officials attended today’s ceremony.
Commenting on the potential of music as an economic activity, President Kenyatta observed that the industry has the capacity to become a big multi-million sector, thus providing an evenue for young Kenyans to utilize their talents constructively.
The Head of State urged media houses and corporate organizations to support and nurture talented young people through utilization of local artists and local artistic expressions in their operations.
“On our part as Government, we will secure and promote consumption of local content, through legislative interventions that will ensure and promote market access for our artists,” said President Kenyatta.
Others who spoke at the ceremony included Education CS Ambassador Amina Mohammed , Kenya National Music Festivals Chairman Peter Wanjohi, Nyeri Governor Mutahi Kahiga and Unicef Country Diretor Werner Schultink.