A total of 13 inmates from Naivasha prison failed the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) examinations on Monday.
The prisoners were not released or transferred to other penal institutions in spite of having registered a total of 54 candidates for the national exams.
Of that number, twenty-one are serving a life sentence in the prison which has more than 3,000 prisoners, most of whom are under the education program.
According to the officer in charge of the prison, Hassan Tari, all the prisoners were ready for the exams despite various challenges.
He said 23 inmates were registered for KCPE through two who missed after being released while 31 were registered for KPSEA although 11 did not attend.
“The test equipment arrived at the prison on time and all the prisoners were present apart from those who were transferred or released,” he said.
He said that the prisons department has provided all the necessary support to the prisoners as education has turned into a tool to correct behavior.
“The exams started on time and the prisoners have shown confidence to do well, but there are a few challenges that are emerging,” he said.
One of the prisoners, Gideon Langat who is serving a 12-year sentence for theft, congratulated the teachers who are also prisoners for the work they did to prepare the prisoners.
He challenged the government in the future to allocate funds to the education department in the prison which has become a tool to correct behavior.
“With all the problems, we are ready to challenge our fellow students who have more advantages than us, as their schools are funded differently than us,” he said.
Naivasha sub-county education officer Nancy Mutai described the exercise as free and fair, adding that no errors were reported on the first day.
“All the schools received the exam materials on time and so far we are not copying any challenge on the first day,” he said.