Court jails cheating KCSE candidate
By James Omoro
Homabay, Kenya-A form four student who was found cheating in an examination has been sentenced to two years in jail by a Ndhiwa Court.
Fredrick Otieno, 18 who was learning at Okok Mixed Secondary School within Ndhiwa District, was arraigned in the Court for cheating in Geography Paper one.
The Court heard that on November 6, the accused was caught with prepared questions and answers, which were similar to questions in Geography exam paper that was being written.
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The candidate pleaded guilty and asked the court for leniency, saying that the hand written materials were given to him by his Geography teacher.
To secure his freedom, he faces a fine of Sh20,000 or risks spending the next two years behind bars.
The accused argued that he alongside some candidates had contributed money to give the teacher in return for written answers.
He pleaded guilty before Senior Resident Magistrate Bernard Omwansa.
The candidate failed to raise Sh20, 000 on the spot and was remanded at Homa Bay Prison.
The court also granted an application by the prosecutor, Inspector Peter Omare that the teacher be arrested and charged in court for perpetrating examination cheating.
President Kibaki recently signed the new Kenya National Examination Act, which criminalises possession of copies of exam papers by unauthorised persons before or during exams.
The Act also spells out stiff penalties for anyone found in possession of any material or information purporting to relate the contents of any paper or material for that exam unlawfully.
In what may be a bad news to offenders, such a person commits an offence and shall be liable for imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or both.
Supervisors and invigilators have been colluding with teachers and candidates to leak exams.
The Act states that a person who recklessly or willfully assists or causes any exam candidate to obtain or gain unauthorised possession of any exam paper, material or information thereof, commits an offence and shall be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or both.
Other examination irregularities that have been criminalised include disclosure of exam paper or material to candidates or an unauthorised person.
Making a change in the original answer in a script of a candidate without lawful authority and fraudulently altering results, works or marks of a candidate has also been declared illegal and punishable.
Those handling exam materials must be vigilant as their loss or misuse is now punishable.
The Act further states that a person who willfully and maliciously damages exam material or facilities, commits an offence and upon conviction, shall be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or a fine not exceeding Sh5 million, or both