Probe claims of massive exam cheating further

Police officer escort KCPE Exam Center Manager at Hezta School in Olkalou Nyandarua County to a police vehicle after the school was suspected that they were stealing exams. [File, Standard]

After conducting investigations, the parliamentary Committee on Education has said it has overwhelming evidence of examination malpractices. The committee's chairman Julius Melly said last week, "It is true there was massive cheating (in the 2022 KCSE) and that is why some schools rose from the bottom to top without working hard for it." That, if true, is most shocking.

The release of the results was received with scepticism by a section of Kenyans who doubted the meteoric rise of some hitherto little-known secondary schools. They suspected that the schools were buoyed up by cheating and not hard work as it should be.

But the Education Cabinet Ezekiel Machogu immediately allayed fears of widespread exam cheating. "From where I sit," he said, "there was no cheating. This is propaganda started by people who do not have proper intentions for the country."

Following the MPs' findings, it is imperative that we establish the truth. Melly and his team want the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) compelled to open KCSE exam servers. That should be done as a matter of urgency.

Other investigative agencies should join hands with the MPs in digging out the truth. The post-mortem should help us to establish whether some students never got their deserved marks and if so, unearth the cheating networks.

It should not end there. Perpetrators of this evil scheme should be apprehended and punished together with the beneficiaries. Everyone involved in the plot, be they Knec officials, teachers or parents must face the full wrath of the law.

Cheating students must too face the music. There is no way students who scored As through deceit, instead of their deserved Ds, should be allowed to study Medicine and other programmes that require top grades.

For the sake of the reputation of Kenya's education and to ensure our institutions of higher learning produce quality professionals, it is important we safeguard the integrity of our exams.