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Biometric enrolment to curb exam irregularities – TSC chief

EDUCATION
By Jael Mboga | May 10th 2021

TSC chief executive Nancy Macharia at the release of KCSE 2020 results in Nairobi on May 10, 2021. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

The government will launch a transparent process of biometric enrolment and validation of teachers in public schools to curb irregularities. 

It will entail enlisting their fingerprints, which can then allow for forensic and intelligence-led investigations in cases where examination papers are tampered with, and where cell phones and other gadgets are used to commit examination malpractices.

The use of biometric validation will assist in vindicating innocent teachers from being blamed for offences they did not commit.

According to Teachers Service Commission CEO Nancy Macharia, the teachers would screenshot examination questions using their cell phones.

“We are at the tail-end of finalizing our consultations with the office of the Data Commissioner on the rollout of the biometric capture of all teachers.

“In the future, all teachers joining the TSC will undergo the biometric enrolment before they enter our payroll.”

During the administration of the 2020 KCSE examination, a number of cases were reported to the Kenya National Examinations Council.

The reports alleged that some teachers contracted either as centre managers, supervisors or invigilators were involved in unethical behaviour of opening the examination papers as soon as they are released.

They would then before disseminating them either to candidates directly or to people hired to answer the questions on behalf of the candidates. We are very disappointed by these reports, especially when they involve professional teachers.

In one case, it was alleged that a school principal screenshot questions, disseminated and even went ahead to post them on her WhatsApp profile!

In yet another case, a senior teacher’s cell phone containing screenshots of questions of a paper was recovered as the cell phone was being transported to a candidate who was sitting the examination at a hospital.

According to Education CS George Magoha, after four years of a sustained and relentless campaign to fight the practice of leaking national examinations, the menace has been “completely eradicated”.

“Since 2016, we have not recorded a single case of a leaked examination paper.”

He attributed the success to a robust security-led system of delivering examinations directly to the (examination) containers before dispatching them to various centres.

“We recorded isolated cases where some people entrusted to safeguard the examination papers went ahead to open them in the morning of the actual date of examinations once they have been dispatched from the containers.”

He spoke at Mtihani House, Nairobi, when he officially released the 2020 KCSE results.

 

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