Fred Matiang'i sacks Siaya education officers over mock exams

Sample papers of Siaya County Mock Examination bearing the portrait of Governor Cornel Rasanga. (Photo: Olivia Odhiambo/Standard)

Seven directors of education in Siaya County have been interdicted for allowing what has been termed as illegal mock exams.

Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i has also disbanded the county education board for taking part in the 'mess' and ordered that a new one be constituted immediately.

Dr Matiang'is said the officials flouted government regulations by allowing Standard Eight candidates to take mock exams.

The examinations had been sponsored the county government at the cost of Sh1.7 million and the exam papers bear the portrait of Governor Cornel Rasanga.

The minister swiftly moved to interdict County Director of Education Charles Nyaribo over his alleged involvement after the news about the exams spread on social media.

The CS also interdicted six sub-county directors of education who he said bear the greatest responsibility for the administration of the exams.

Matiang'i said education is a function of the national government and the county government has no business sponsoring examinations given that there are laws banning such tests.

In a statement to the media, Matiang'i also criticised the county education board for allowing the examinations.

However, the CS was silent on the fate of principals of the schools that took part in the examinations.

"The ministry of Education has established that Standard Eight candidates in Siaya County are currently sitting mock examinations contrary to national government policies. It has also been noted that the question papers for the mock tests bear the portrait of the county's governor," reads his statement.

The county education department said they invested the money in the controversial tests to prepare the candidates for the national examinations set for next month.

A section of education stakeholders accused Rasanga of using the examination papers as a campaign strategy ahead of next year's elections.

East Yimbo MCA Willis Ochieng said there would be no issue if Rasanga used his own money to print the examination papers.

"If he used tax payers money, then that would be a very wrong move. However, if the money was from his pocket, then he has every right to do whatever he wishes with the exam papers," said the MCA.

Education executive Pamella Akello defended use of Rasanga's portrait claiming it was a way to ensure the children know their governor.

"We will extend the project to form four students," she said.