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Knec issues tough rules to prevent cheating ahead of national exams

Jamhuri High School students receive their exam papers during their KCSE Examination. [Boniface Okendo,Standard]

Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) has spelt out regulations that must be adhered to administer next month’s national examinations.

The tough protocols also spell out strict penalties that will affect both candidates and examination administrators found culpable.

The details emerged in a meeting with all chief examiners of Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA), Kenya Certificate for Primary Education (KCPE) and Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE).

Kneck chief executive officer, Dr David Njengere said this year, has been a unique academic year.

‘‘In a normal school calendar year, Knec administers two examinations; however this year, we will administer a total of five examinations,’’ Njengere said.

He urged stakeholders to share experiences and ideas on how to enhance effectiveness and efficiency in the marking of the national examinations. Some of the guidelines are candidates not being allowed any extra time while sitting KCPE and KCSE tests.

Unnecessary movements by candidates when the examinations are underway has also been prohibited unless with special permission from supervisors. 

The Council has also cautioned any form of communication between candidates and strangers within or outside the school compound.

“No communication whatsoever in whatever manner between candidates or with outsiders is allowed during the examination,” read the rules.

Knec says that any form of misbehaviour by candidates will be treated as an attempt to cheat in the examinations.

Candidates, who will engage in any form of misconduct or cause disturbance in, or near the examination room will be punished. 

And within the examination rooms, candidates are cautioned from exposing their question answers to fellow students.

They are advised not to leave a sheet of paper they have written on or their answers in such a position that another candidate can read them.

“You should not give or obtain unfair assistance, or attempt to do so, whether by copying or in any other way, and your work should not show proof of such unfair assistance,” says the rules.

Candidates, who will prepare short notes and carry them to the examination room will face consequences.

“You are not allowed to have in your possession or in your proximity while in the examination room, any book, notes, papers or any other materials whatsoever except the correct question papers and any materials expressly authorised by the Knec,” states the guidelines.

Knec cautioned against gaining access to examination material and revealing the contents, whether orally or in writing, to an unauthorised party. This will attract a penalty or a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or both.

As national exams fast approach, it will also be punishable for any person to maliciously damage examination material.

This will attract imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding Sh5 million or both.

The Council is warning against impersonation and cautioned those who intend to sit the examinations on behalf of candidates.

In the event the impostor is a student, they will be prohibited from taking an examination conducted by or on behalf of Knec for three years.

The culprit will be liable to imprisonment for a period not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding two million shillings or both.

If any candidate commits an assessment irregularity in any paper, the results for the whole subject will be cancelled.

Should widespread anomalies be discovered in any assessment centre, the assessment results for the entire centre will be cancelled.

The examination body further pointed warned it will be an offence to possess and use mobile phones in the examination centres, save for authorised officers.

Candidates, supervisors, invigilators or headteachers will not enter an examination room with phones or other electronic devices.

Knec, however, said primary schools with a combined candidature of thirty (30) and above for both KCPE and KPSEA examinations will be allowed to conduct the examination on their premises.

The Council noted that the schools must ensure they have a valid registration certificate from the County Education Board in addition to having adequate examination classrooms that can accommodate twenty (20) candidates per room with a spacing of 1.22 meters on both sides.

The council stated that schools with less than thirty (30) candidates and more than five (5) kilometres away from the nearest examination centre will seek special approval from Knec through the Sub County Director of Education.

Sub-County directors have so far identified, nominated and vetted centre managers, supervisors and invigilators who will spearhead the exercise and were deployed last week. 

Teachers Service Commission Chief Executive Officer, Nancy Macharia, instructed the directors to ensure that a ratio of one invigilator for every 20 students, and one supervisor for every 200 candidates is adhered to.

“No supervisor should be employed for hosted and KPSEA centres except for centres with KPSEA candidates only. You are required to deploy invigilators to hosted and KPSEA centres based on the number of candidates in the examination centre,” Macharia noted.