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Anxiety as Knec to decide fate of cancelled 2018 KCSE results

By Augustine Oduor | January 12th 2019 at 09:07:34 GMT +0300

Education CS Amina Mohamed (second left) flanked by PS Belio Kipsang (left), Knec chairman Prof George Magoha and CEO Mercy Karogo (right) during the release of KCSE on December 21, 2018. [David Njaaga,Standard]

The fate of about 2,000 students whose KCSE exam results were withheld for alleged cheating will be known next week.

The Saturday Standard has established that the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) completed investigations and the findings will be presented to the 29 schools on Monday.

“The investigations have now been concluded and the school is expected to receive the final report and be granted a hearing,” reads a sample letter sent to all the affected schools.

The letter signed by Knec Chief Executive Officer Mercy Karogo invites management of the schools to a meeting on Monday. Also invited are chairpersons of Boards of Management and parents associations of the affected schools.

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed said last year that the candidates in the affected schools will wait until January 31 when she will announce their fate.

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Chance to defend

“Knec will finalise investigations into suspected malpractices and release a report on the same on or before January 31, 2019,” said Amina.

It emerged that after interviews with examiners, and interaction with available evidence, Knec is convinced that some of the schools were engaged in outright theft of the examination.

The schools management will Monday be given the investigations verdicts and accorded a chance to defend their schools.

Sources familiar with the details however told the Saturday Standard that many schools will have their results cancelled after investigations unearthed and confirmed various ways adopted by the institutions to cheat in last year’s examination.

The schools whose results were withheld over suspected cheating are in Machakos, Meru, Nairobi, Turkana, Kericho, Narok, Bungoma, Vihiga, Kisumu, Kisii, Migori, Garissa and Wajir counties, among others.

Reports indicate that 54 schools had their results withheld but only 29 will be affected.

Details reveal that part of the affected institutions is a centre in Nyanza region that would have been ranked sixth nationally, but examiners noticed something unusual about its results.

Finer details reveal that the investigations have also thrown some of the examination administrators into the spotlight in all the affected centres.

It emerged that in some centres, the test administrators were compromised and allowed discussion of questions in the examination room.

Overall, Amina said 191 people, including candidates were arrested and arraigned in court for various examination offences.

“Some 56 cases are still pending in court,” she said.

The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) already announced that it has interdicted five teachers for offences associated with non-compliance to exam procedures.

TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said during the administration of last year’s KCSE exam, 66 cases of non-conformity to and violation of examination regulations were registered.

“Investigations are going on in the other cases. We will ensure the cases are concluded within the shortest time possible,” said Mrs Macharia.

Speaking during the release of the results, Amina said cases of early exposure, impersonation, possession of unauthorised materials in some exam centres and collusion were reported.

Arising from these offences, Knec cancelled results for 100 candidates.

Details of the report findings reveal that in one centre, 300 candidates had same answers to one question. And in some schools, it was a clear case of ‘open book,’ it emerged.

Some candidates also wrote answer requests for certain questions on the open spaces of examination booklets, which they passed on to teachers or fellow candidates to assist.

Most of the candidates who wrote the requests forgot to delete them and these raised the attention of markers and prompted investigations into possible collusion.

“The answers to the requested questions were similar across many candidates and this was clear collusion,” said a Knec insider.

Reports also indicate that some candidates inserted money into the examination booklets that they submitted for marking.

The candidates left up to Sh1,000 in the answer booklets.

The Knec report has confirmed that some schools set up command centres around the institutions where examination questions were sneaked out and worked out for students.

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