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Matiang'i vindicated as tough rules lock out exam cheats

By Fred Makana | Published Fri, December 30th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 30th 2016 at 08:39 GMT +3
Gladys Gachoka from Loreto High School, Limuru who scored an A- of 77 points in this year's Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education exams. [PHOTO: ELVIS OGINA/STANDARD]

Stringent measures to curb exam cheating paid off, with no cases of cheating reported this year.

In an effort to curb cheating in national examinations, which had dented the image of the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) in previous years, Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i in May unveiled new tough measures.

So high were the stakes that the CS personally supervised the exams, as witnessed at the start of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in November.

Dr Matiang’i pitched tent in various schools around the country to get a feel of the environment under which the exams were being administered.

The radical changes came hot on the heels of pressure on the Government to reform the exams council, following massive irregularities in the 2015 exams that saw the results of about 2,709 KCPE and 5,101 KCSE candidates cancelled.

REGAINED CREDIBILITY

“We are not cancelling results of a single candidate compared with 2015 when results for 5,101 candidates were cancelled. This is confirmation that various security measures put in place during the administration and management of the 2016 KCSE examination helped to nip in the bud any forms of cheating,” said the CS yesterday when he released the results in Mombasa.

The 2015 KCSE exams were marred by reported cases of leaked exam papers, with 179 candidates found with mobile phones in the examination rooms.

The total number of students who had their results cancelled in 2015 after being caught cheating was 837 less than those nabbed a year earlier, translating to a 22 per cent reduction.

In May, the CS promised to set aside all his ministerial duties to supervise national exams.

“I will be at the exam centres myself, working with the supervisors. Principal Secretaries, ministry directors to ensure we deliver credible results this time. All of us will be on duty,” said Dr Matiang’i at the time.

As a departure from tradition, the CS reorganised the school calendar and introduced far-reaching changes in the administration of national examinations.

Dr Matiang’i said the government was desperate to ensure national examinations regained their credibility, following last year’s rampant cheating orchestrated by teachers, the police and KNEC officials.

ACT FIRMLY

At least 10 senior KNEC officials were sacked over the exam leakage scandal.

Yesterday, the CS said the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will act firmly against teachers who were found engaging in examination malpractices in this year’s exams.

He said the fate of several teachers who were disqualified from the marking exercise now lies with TSC.

“We have been firm in the manner in which we have examined and analysed the examination results. It is a true reflection of our children’s efforts devoid of leakages,” said Dr Matiang’i.


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