Uhuru prescribes punitive measures for exam cheats

Irene Githinji @gitshee

President Uhuru Kenyatta yesterday warned of dire consequences to individuals plotting to corrupt the examination system.

Speaking at Safari Park Hotel yesterday where he opened the inaugural international conference on Early Childhood Development and education, the President said the government will continue to build on successes of last year’s exams, which involves putting in place measures to stop leakage.

“I condemn those who insist on corrupting our education system. We are coming for you,” warned the President.

“Our future depends on the quality of our students and professionals. We will continue to protect our children from unscrupulous conmen and women.”

His remarks come against the continued terse warning to national examination cheats. 

And to demonstrate readiness to safeguard the integrity of national examinations — Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) — the government said it will deploy at least 70,000 police officers for the exercise that kicks off in less than two weeks.

He further stated that the officers will be at hand to deal with any “courageous individual” who might be tempted to perpetuate exams malpractice.

The Education ministry has vowed not to leave anything to chance and has consequently placed 222 examination centres under “Heightened Surveillance (HS), of which 30 are under “High Dependency Surveillance”(HDS) and another 192 under “Amplified Surveillance”(AS) based on reported examination malpractice trends from 2015 to last year.

On Monday, Education Cabinet secretary Amina Mohamed said they have sealed loopholes that could be exploited by unscrupulous individuals to ensure there is a level playing field for all candidates.

All examination containers will not be opened before the stipulated time, which is 5.30am.

Upon arrival to sub counties, the examinations will be handed over to the Sub-County Directors of Education and the Deputy County Commissioners who will ensure that the dispatch process to schools and back to Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) is secure and free from any interference.

Armed security officers will escort all question papers everyday of the examination from collection to return of the answer scripts to the container and back to Knec. 

While at the examination centre, the security officers will ensure adequate security is provided to all the candidates and the examination materials.

During the exam period, all examination papers and answer sheets will not leave the examination room until all papers have been turned in.

Centre managers guilty of unsealing the afternoon paper before the stipulated time, whether by mistake or on purpose, will be held liable for this irregularity.

Consequently, centres found culpable of cheating, condoning, or aiding in cheating will be disqualified.

Parents have been advised to desist from visiting boarding schools henceforth until the end of term.

Candidates found in possession of mobile phones in examination centres will immediately be suspended from school, and removed from the examination process.

A total of 1,060,759 candidates are seating for their KCPE and 664,586 for their KCSE exams.

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