If examination cheats expected the scale to tilt to their advantage after Fred Matiang’i was posted to the Internal Security docket, they are in for a rude shock.
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed has just made a bad situation worse for them by tightening the noose around their necks.
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Yesterday, she announced that schools that will release examination questions to candidates before scheduled time will be closed down and students locked out of the entire examination.
Candidates who will be found to have accessed the examination questions will have the entire examination cancelled and will be forced to repeat the entire examination.
Dr Mohammed said the Government would not waste resources to mark examination papers of cheats.
In a tough message at the start of an examination briefing, Amina also warned school heads, candidates and parents to be wary of fake examination questions that are already circulating in the social media.
The CS said some unscrupulous persons had been selling fake examination papers and warned that anyone found culpable would be arrested and prosecuted.
“Let me say this clearly, no examination questions will leak before time. Anyone buying examination questions must know that they are fake,” said Amina.
Some 1.7 million candidates will sit the primary and secondary examinations this year. Of these, 1,060,703 will sit KCPE while 664,585 write the KCSE papers.
KCPE examinations will be done in 27,161 centres, while 10,077 centres will host KCSE candidates.
Amina said Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) had managed to seal examination leakage loopholes but revealed that some schools were still determined to expose examination questions to candidates before time.
“We have cautioned and let all candidates and schools heads know that we shall not mark those papers. And those who will be responsible for the centre will answer to authorities,” she said.
Knec Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo said if a centre pre-exposes an examination paper on day one, the entire examination will be cancelled.
This means candidates who access the questions before time will be sent home and will not sit the one-month examination.
“And those responsible supervisors, invigilators, centre managers and security officers will be answerable,” said Karogo.
Data from Knec shows for KCPE, some 64,758 invigilators and 27,025 supervisors will be deployed to administer the examinations. The papers will be marked by 5,834 examiners.
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As for KCSE, 36,622 invigilators and 10,183 supervisors will be deployed. The examinations will be marked by 23,713 examiners.
Knec chairperson George Magoha said Knec would punish any form of examination malpractice.
“If we notice any slight exposure we shall close the centre immediately and all persons responsible will be liable and will face the consequences,” he said.
Prof Magoha said this year’s examinations would be more secured than last year.
“Integrity is the word. But we also caution over fake examinations. No examinations will leak. Treat all questions (in circulation) as fake,” said Magoha.