Cheating: Amina now orders audit to stem impersonation

KCSE invigilators verify examination material security seals ahead of a paper at Kisumu Boy’s High School earlier this month. [File, Standard]
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has orderedan audit of all the 600,000 candidates who sat the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations following reports of impersonation. 

Amina said the exercise is expected to unearth persons who, in collaboration with centre managers, may have infiltrated the examinations.

“We ordered a fresh audit of all registration details of candidates in every examination centre. This was meant to rid out any form of impersonation detected last week in which non-students, including university students, were being used to write examinations on behalf of candidates,” said Amina.

Candidates found to have contracted strangers to sit the exams on their behalf will have their results withheld.

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Amina said the audit is also meant to stem the rush by schools to cut corners in a bid to post better mean grades.

“The aim is to ensure schools turned in better grades for individual students in addition to the overall mean scores of affected schools,” said Amina.

The CS made the revelations yesterday when examinations on all compulsory subjects ended. Focus now shifts to optional subjects.

“We are now focused on tightening up systems to deliver the optional subjects with the same zeal as we did the compulsory subjects,” she said.

Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) Chairman George Magoha said university students and some subject teachers have been taking part in attempts to cheat.

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Elaborate plan

He said the cheating was part of an elaborate plan that involved early exposure with papers sent to the experts to work out answers.

Last week, a university student was arrested and charged after he was found sitting a KCSE examination in Kisii as crackdown on cheats mounts.

Davis Ongiri, the Maseno University student, was arrested on Thursday, booked at Ogembo Police Station and produced before Senior Resident Magistrate Margret Nafula.

He was charged with falsifying information that he was a genuine KCSE candidate registered at St Joseph Nyansakia Mixed Secondary School in Bomachoge.

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Garissa, Kisii, West Pokot, Central Region, Coast, Eastern and other parts of the larger Nyanza were listed as examination cheating hot spots.

Speaking in Wajir County yesterday, Amina elaborated key milestones she attributed to the success of the examinations.

Among the measures employed, she said, was changing exam, officials to eliminate any forms of collusion.

The CS said the exercise includes replacement of suspect examination officials, which she said helped prevent many planned schemes drawn up to allow collusion in certain examination centres.

“Some members of the public, in collusion with centre managers, invigilators, supervisors and in some cases, security officers, had planned elaborate measures to sneak foreign materials to examination rooms to facilitate cheating,” said Amina.

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All these efforts were detected and dismantled, she said. 

Special examination monitoring teams have been permanently stationed in centres earlier identified as potential cheat centres and put on security surveillance.

Critical evidence

“We are happy to report that this measure has been very successful in maintaining the integrity of the examinations,” said Amina.

The Ministry of Education collected critical evidence that led to deregistration of culpable candidates and interdiction of complicit teachers. Some seven candidates have so far been deregistered by Knec for various examination malpractices.

The latest culprits were students caught with mobile phones in North Eastern. 

Overall, Amina said the decision to start distribution of examination materials to centres furthest from the location of the container yielded fruits.

“Centres closest to the container received their scripts last and this helped reduce the amount of time wasted before the scheduled start,” said Amina.

Amina MohamedKCSEEducationExam Cheating