Exam cheats face arrest, Amina warns

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Examination centres caught compromising the integrity of this year’s national examinations will be closed on the spot, the government has warned.

To further tighten the noose around necks of those predisposed to cheating, Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed and the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec)  warned exam centres found to have exposed examination papers to students prior to set dates will be closed.

Consequently, examiners in such centres will be arrested and prosecuted with exams getting discontinued and candidates sent home.

Previously, exams were cancelled for only students found to have engaged in irregularities.

The Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) is slated for November 5-30 while Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination will be sat from October 30 to November 1.

“National examinations will be free from any compromising factors. Any supervisor, invigilator or security personnel who attempts to compromise examinations will be apprehended immediately and charged in a court of law…We have invested heavily on education. We have paid the price and no one will be spared,” warned the CS.

She affirmed that examinations would follow a defined path from Knec premises to the candidates, with examination centres secured by both visible presence of uniformed police officers and the invisible eye of the larger State surveillance apparatus throughout examination period.

A tough-talking Knec chairman Prof George Magoha echoed Amina’s sentiments, saying instances of early exposure of exams would lead to cancellation and centre managers held accountable. He assured that the exam this year has been better secured than last year’s.

They spoke yesterday during the official launch of 2018 national examination at Pangani Girls’ High School.

Similarly, Magoha said Knec is aware that fake exam papers are currently in circulation and  urged students to revise using the syllabus as opposed to depending on leaked papers only meant to confuse them.

“We are watching you…this time we expect the examination centre managers to know what is going on. We are forewarning you that if we find you we will not wait… we will take you to court,” warned Magoha.

He further informed Kenyans that this year the results will  be released even earlier than last year, saying the Council had worked out faster modalities to mark English composition and Kiswahili Insha.

“As I talk to you now, fake exams have started circulating, they will remain fake so please do not waste your time confusing our children by looking at them,” he warned.

He said exam leakage is now history since the government has supported exam credibility journey and the only gap now is between containers and exam rooms.

“Do not waste too much time on past papers, just go back to the syllabus and revise some of the topics. If you are stupid, you will start hoping that some of the exams circulating in the social media are worth looking at,” he said.

Magoha further insisted that those invigilating national examinations must be registered with Teachers Service Commission (TSC).

Beyond reproach

Elsewhere, Knec directed that all candidates registered to sit for this year’s national examination must be allowed to do so, irrespective of whether they have been in school studying or left after registration.

Speaking during a briefing session for field officers administering national examinations in Murang’a, Knec Deputy Director Moses Ngala said the Council had a contract to administer the exams to every candidate who registered.

Cases of students registering for the national examinations and then disappearing or being suspended from school due to indiscipline have become commonplace.

“The laws give registered candidates the right to sit for their examinations and no one should contravene these regulations. Although there are concerns by schools about errant students, Knec was obliged to administer the exam to all candidates without discrimination,” said Ngala.

In Makueni, County Director of Education Jane Njogu warned teachers, students and parents against engaging in examination irregularities.

She said stern disciplinary measures would be taken against those found flouting examination regulations.

“It is sad that supervisors, invigilators and exam centre managers are compromised to allow cheating of exams. This will not be tolerated as we expect the integrity of those involved in exams to be beyond reproach,” she said.

Njogu spoke during an examination briefing exercise at Makueni Boys High School. She urged all school heads to be vigilant and stop the vice.

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