Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) chairman George Magoha is delighted that — even as his three-year term comes to an end in March 2019 — he has achieved much of what he was tasked to do.
When he was appointed in March 2016, the former University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor had express orders to restore public confidence and credibility in the management of examination processes. Yesterday, he said that so far, the Board he led for three years had done extremely well in addressing cheating in national examinations, something he said had put the country in bad light.
“It has been a very steady three years at the Board. Leakage of examinations is now in the past. We have secured the whole examination process,” he said at Mtihani House where Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam results were released.
He said benchmarking in some of the best examination boards in Africa is among the Terms of Reference (TORs) the Board was mandated to carry out and had executed well. For instance, he said the tamper-proof examination system that the Board put in place that has considerably seen cheating in examinations reduced, was adopted from South Africa.
“When the Board came to office, we had express instructions to ensure that we restore the credibility of our examination system. I then went to South Africa to hunt for a system to adapt to enhance credibility our examinations.
And the results were released here today attests to that,” Magoha said yesterday. He said in the last three years what the Board has done has been able to improve teachers’ professional attitude that has really improved compared with the previous years.
“I would like to appreciate our Kenyan teachers. They are now very professional in their work. More of them are working hard. However, some few teachers are giving us problems,” Magoha said and called on the government to reserve no mercy for those who caught misbehaving.
However, even as his term ends, the KNEC Board chair took a swipe at parents for the poor performance posted by some of the children in examinations.
He said children are not guilty but their parents who have little time for them. “But parents who give their children money and have little time for them, are to blame. It is us parents and some unscrupulous teachers who have let down their children,” he added.
The Board led by Magoha – who replaced Joseph Kivilu – also vetted all of Knec’s senior staff to determine their suitability to continue holding their offices.