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Magoha warns students against using face masks to cheat in exams

By Augustine Oduor | March 10th 2021

Education CS George Magoha addressing students of Chavakali Boys High School, Vihiga. [Mumo Munuve, Standard]

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha has said that some candidates are planning to use face masks to cheat in the upcoming national examinations.

Magoha said the ministry had discovered that some candidates were planning to write answers on the masks which are part of the safety measures put in place by the government to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

“We know that some of you are planning to use masks to cheat. Do not make such an attempt because we shall frisk you and if caught, it's up to you,” Magoha said during a meeting at the Alliance Girls High School.

He warned the 1.9 million Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates that the ministry was aware of the ‘innovative’ methods they are planning to use to cheat.

Magoha's comments came as the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) released tough measures the candidates must adhere to before the start of examinations.

Exam guidelines

Guidelines released by Knec require that supervisors ensure candidates are searched thoroughly as they enter examination rooms even after visiting the washrooms.

“Candidates should lower their masks during identification as this can be used as an avenue for impersonation. Tougher measures will also be implemented during frisking of the candidates,” the guidelines read.

All candidates will be searched after temperature checks and after sanitising- before every test.

The invigilators will also be required to wear face masks and sanitise their hands before and after searches.

However, during the entire examination session, all candidates will be required to wear face masks.

“Candidates must wear face masks properly throughout the examination. Candidates with hearing impairment sitting KCSE exams may be required to remove their masks when taking the practical signing examination,” the Knec rules say.

Similarly, invigilators and school staff will be required to wear masks and shall only be removed when signing candidates with hearing impairment.

Speaking during a meeting at the Kenya School of Government last week, Magoha also expressed fears over the possible use of masks to beat security safeguards during the examinations.

“We are aware that as we plan for the effective administration of exams, others are busy planning how to cheat,” Magoha said.

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