Schools engaging in exam cheating ‘will be closed’

The Education ministry will close down any school found engaging in examination cheating, Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed has warned.

Addressing a stakeholders’ forum on preparedness for the 2018 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in Nairobi yesterday, Amina said her ministry will ensure the country  does not go back to the era of examination irregularities which undermined the education system.

“Investigations have shown that cases of irregularities arose out of conduct by a few unprofessional teachers and exam  officials who colluded with students to sneak materials into examination rooms. Going forward, the ministry will close down any school found engaging in any form of cheating and culprits will be prosecuted,” she said.

Amina expressed concern over re-emergence of examination cheating cartels saying that the ministry together with police are  investigating claims that there are some unscrupulous people who are asking parents to contribute money to buy “examination questions”. She appealed to parents and students not to be misled or duped into the fleecing schemes.

The CS also revealed preparation for this year’s national examinations are on top gear adding that the ministry has already released the 2018 National Examinations calendar, during which only candidates will remain in schools as other learners close for the November/December vacation.

To curb cheating, the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has come up with strict security mechanisms in test development, printing, packaging and dispatch of examination papers.

Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo said the council has increased its staff to enhance efficiency and invested in secure containers that have been installed in Deputy County Commissioners’ and Assistant County Commissioners’ offices to reduce the distance covered by Centre Managers to pick and drop examination papers as well as eliminate cheating through cartels.

She said 1,060,703 candidates across 27,161 centres have been registered for KCPE exams while 664,585 candidates will sit  KCSE exams across 10,077 centres countrywide this year.

At the same time the CS issued a stern warning to teachers against engaging in corporal punishment on students saying the act is not only illegal but it is immoral and unacceptable saying that those found conducting the offense will be dealt with in accordance with the law.

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