20 schools on watch as Knec names exam-cheating hotspots

Kenya National of Examination Council (KNEC) chair George Magoha(right) and Education Ps Bellio Kipsang addressing the press after inspecting exam containers on 27/9/18-[Photo: Beverlyne Musili,Standard]

At least 20 schools have been put on intense security watch as the national examination council flagged cheating hotspots in the country.

Schools in Garissa, Kisii, West Pokot, Central Region, Coast, Eastern and other parts of the larger Nyanza are on the security radar as the clock ticks to the start of this year’s national examinations.

Basic Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang warned that schools that will attempt to leak examinations will be shut and examination administration suspended.

The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) warned of emerging examination-cheating hotspots and blamed parents for the continued attempts to destroy examination credibility.

Knec Chairman George Magoha cautioned two schools in Garissa, where he said teachers were colluding with parents to try to cheat in the coming examinations.

Prof Magoha also singled out West Pokot and cautioned education officials, parents and students in the region to keep off attempts to cheat in the coming national examinations.

Schools in Meru region and Kisii are also under watch.

Dr Kipsang and Magoha spoke as they launched monitoring of examination and storage facilities in all sub-county offices.

Officials from Ministry of Interior, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) and Knec were present.

Some 64,758 invigilators and 27,025 supervisors will be deployed to administer the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examinations, which will be marked by 5,834 examiners.

Another 36,622 invigilators and 10,183 supervisors will be deployed to administer the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams, which will be marked by 23,713 examiners.

Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i last week warned exam theft cartels and candidates that security agencies were on high alert to curb cheating.

Dr Matiang’i said his ministry would support Knec to administer clean and event-free examinations.

The TSC Nairobi County director, Lillian Wachira, said the teachers had been inducted and were ready for deployment.

“We have been with these students for all these years. Let us stick to professionalism. The commission is set for the examinations and will handle all cases emerging,” said Mrs Wachira.

Kipsang said the ministry was aware that fake examination papers were doing the rounds on social media and cautioned parents against encouraging their children to look at them.

“We are aware that some people are falling into the trap that they can raise money to buy exam papers. Parents, let’s give children time to prepare for examinations,” said Kipsang.

He said third term school activities remained suspended and any persons entering schools must be vetted.

“Others are pretending to sneak back the issue of prayers in schools. This is a disciplinary issue and there will be no third term activities and visitors will not be allowed,” said Kipsang.

He said children and teachers can conduct prayers but no one from outside the school should attend.