30 schools on Knec radar over exam cheating

Irene Githinji @gitshee

At least 30 secondary and primary schools are on the Kenya National Examinations Council’s (Knec) radar following reports that they intend to engage in malpractices in the upcoming national exams.

Knec chairman Prof George Magoha, however, declined to reveal the identity of the targeted schools, saying it would cause undue tension among candidates. Those being investigated include five secondary schools in Meru, three in Garissa and four in Kisii county, he said.

Magoha revealed they also had information that some schools were planning impersonation of candidates, saying offenders will face the full force of the law.

“Exam cartels in this country are intricate, we are strictly focusing on several schools. Allow me not to mention them because I want to give them room for change. We want to honour our children until the exam is over,” he said.

He spoke yesterday after meeting with Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) and Kenya Primary Schools Head Teachers Association (Kepsha) and Regional Coordinators of Education at the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development in Nairobi.

Magoha also urged parents to be ware of rogue principals out to solicit money on pretext they would provide their children with exam leakage.

“We are aware of some daring and indefatigable examination cheating cartels circulating fake papers in the social media,” he said.

The chairman was categorical that Knec has sealed all cheating loopholes and there will be no leakage, with tight measures put in place to ensure the tests are credible.

Basic Education Principal Secretary, Belio Kipsang echoed Magoha’s sentiments, saying anyone found culpable of compromising the examination environment would not be spared.

He said the government would spare no efforts to deliver credible examinations.

The PS said the ministry is aware of incidences where candidates are causing unrest  demanding to be allowed mobile phones in schools during tests.

“As process owners of the examinations, we will not allow ourselves to be blackmailed to do what is not right. We ask parents to help us and not to allow their children carry their phones to schools,” he said.

Last week, Belio and Magoha led education officials in assessing 459 containers and Knec was satisfied exam material are in safe custody.

Kessha chairperson Kahi Indimuli urged his colleagues to lead the way in safeguarding integrity of the exams.

“In 2017, 10 of our secondary schools were affected by results cancellation and we are saying in 2018 we want to ensure there is a difference. I want to call upon all the secondary schools principals to ensure that this year none of us is found to have participated in aiding the students get undue advantage in this examination,” he said.

At least 1.7 million candidates will sit this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations scheduled to kick off later this month.

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