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Cheating tricks of candidates, teachers, exam officials busted

By Augustine Oduor and Mercy Kahenda | November 14th 2019

Police officers and Ministry of Education officials at Ramasha Milimani Academy KCSE centre in Kisii County on November 5, 2019. 12 people including the centre manager were arrested for allegedly impersonating as KCSE candidates. [Sammy Omingo, Standard]

The details of schemes introduced by Form Four candidates, teachers and some private school owners to cheat in this year’s national examinations have emerged.

An analysis of the cases recorded from schools across the country reveals that collusion between learners, parents and school managers remains the major threat in sealing examination cheating in schools.

The popular schemes employed include violent behaviour from the candidates to cause disruption, registration of alternative centres, payment of up to Sh120,000 to supervisors to look the other way, and the hiring of university students to write the tests.

And in some cases, candidates boycotted sitting national examinations, citing school heads’ failure to co-operate in the schemes.

Impersonation racket

At Kapchepkor Secondary School in Baringo North, some students did not write their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exam after they became unruly. The students are reported to have gone on a rampage, causing minor damage to the school laboratory.

It is reported that the candidates were protesting the manner in which their principal had become “difficult” over the exams.

Things came to a head after the principal returned from the container used to store exam papers, and found half the boys had left the school compound without permission.

Rift Valley Regional Commissioner George Natembeya said the candidates had planned to attack the principal for failing to help them cheat in the exams.

Finer details reveal that the candidates came back at 8.30pm shouting and looking for the principal to attack him.

And in Kisii, some 11 candidates at the Milimani Ramasha Academy did not sit their exams after security officials busted an impersonation racket.

Reports showed that the photographs of genuine candidates were tampered with, and university students brought in to sit the exam.

Sources within the school said the defacing of the examination identification cards was done with the knowledge of some Ministry of Education officials in the county.

In total, 13 people were charged, among them the school director Charles Osoro, an alleged deputy principal, the centre supervisor, a cook at the school and the impersonators.

Still in Kisii, a principal at a secondary school in Bobasi Constituency lobbied through the county education office to have a particular supervisor posted to his school. Reports indicated that the supervisor is a friend of the principal.

It was said the principal had been collecting Sh1,500 from students to facilitate the buying of examination papers.

In Migori County, four secondary schools were reported to have hatched a plot to cheat in the national examinations by collecting money to buy question papers. Supervisors were to be paid Sh120,000, invigilators were to get Sh60,000 and security officers Sh40,000.

Reports indicate that last year, the schools managed to access biology question papers ahead of time and were planning to do the same this year.

In Kiambu County, a private school had made plans to access the mathematics question paper from a mobile phone by 8.05am.

Reports indicate that the students were to visit the washroom in turns to copy the exam answers that would be worked out by subject teachers. It emerged that after the mathematics teacher was sent out of the centre, the students became rude.

In Nairobi, 26 people, among them candidates at St Theresa Boys Secondary School, were arrested as the KCSE exam entered day three. It emerged that mobile phones that had been confiscated were meant to receive and disperse exam questions. 

In Uasin Gishu, exam malpractices were recorded after the centre manager at a mixed secondary schools brought in the tests using private transport, which is against regulations.

In Turkana County, two invigilators were found canvassing in one of the rooms with the aim of cheating. New invigilators were deployed to the centre.

Mobile phone

And in Garissa County, a candidate was found in possession of a mobile phone in an examination room. After this case was busted, some candidates threatened the school principal.

Still in Garissa, two candidates were found cheating in separate schools during the English and chemistry papers.

In Marsabit County, another student was found in possession of a mobile phone. The device was confiscated as the student was returning to the exam room after a short call.

Similar cases were reported in Wajir County, where two candidates were busted in two separate schools. Other cases involving students were recorded in Tana River.

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