The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) has banned the photocopying of examination papers. The exams council has also warned head teachers against submitting inaccurate registration data that could lead to candidates missing exams.
In last year’s exams, inaccurate registration details, which saw some candidates registered for fewer subjects or wrong subject clusters, prompted the photocopying of material, which Knec says was a security breach and exposure to cheating.
Starting today, Knec and the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) will conduct a four-day nationwide scrutiny of registration data for this year’s 1.3 million national examination candidates as officials move to seal security breaches ahead of this year’s tests in October.
“Due to the threat of breach of security occasioned by photocopying of examination papers, Knec is committed to ensuring clean registration data for accurate packing of examination materials,” read a circular announcing the audit.
Knec Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo and her TSC counterpart Nancy Macharia warned head teachers that they would be held personally responsible for any inaccurate data.
“Only subjects captured in the nominal rolls will be offered to the candidates... Heads of institutions should take note that they will be held personally responsible and will be surcharged for errors in the registration data for 2018 KCPE and KCSE candidates,” warned the circular dated April 12, 2018 and sent to 30,000-plus heads of primary schools offering candidates for the 2018 national examinations, and sub-county directors of education.
Wrong registration data was the reason some schools received fewer exam papers compared to the number of candidates last year, prompting some centres to photocopy the materials thereby exposing the questions to security breaches.
The candidates’ personal details audit comes slightly over a month after the 2018 registration of candidates for national exams closed on March 7, 2018.
Since then, Knec has been editing and correcting the registration data according to requests for amendments submitted by heads of institutions and sub-county directors of education (for private candidates).
“The heads of institutions and sub-county directors of education are asked to view the online nominal rolls to confirm that all eligible candidates are registered,” it said.
A scrutiny found that most new schools wishing to be registered as Knec examination centres did not submit registration documents a year earlier as required.