Student leaders in local universities have come up with a countrywide campaign dubbed ‘Fukuza Mwakenya’.
Mwakeya aka ‘mwaks’— which refers to illegal materials carried into examination rooms for ‘back up’ — has become sort of a permanent fixture in most campuses. Students thrive on mwaks. They love it!
Mwakenya is banned in all universities locally, and those caught using it are often suspended — or even expelled from school.
At the University of Nairobi for instance, those caught cheating are expelled from the institution as stated in the University’s Examination Rules.
“Any student caught cheating in examination e.g. by copying, having or making reference to unauthorised materials, communicating to other students verbally or through other means will be expelled from the University, and shall not be eligible for admission to any other programmes of the university,” reads the rule in the
Muranga University of Technology (MUT) student’s president Vincent Murangiri (pictured) told Campus Vibe that he pioneered the initiative to save time he spends in disciplinary meetings on cases concerning the use of mwakenya.
“This initiative is meant to preach to students on the effects of using mwakenya and other unauthorised materials in exam rooms,” the third-year Criminology and Security Studies student said.
He added: “It is so unfortunate that I spend most of my time in meetings hearing cases of this kind. I saw it proper to sensitise comrades to shun mwakenya.”
While Peter Kuria of Kisii University supports the idea — he foresees ‘cartels’ fighting back since they have deep roots when it comes to exam cheating.
“This is a bright idea and I will support it in my campus, but I foresee a situation where cartels will start fighting back since they have their own mechanism to use the micro papers,” Kuria said.
Other student leaders, however, feel that it is a waste of time — preaching against mwakenya.
According to Abner Owour, Pwani University students president, he does not believe in ‘preaching’ to comrades’ to ditch mwakenya saying: “These people are all mature.
University is a free place and I cannot whatsoever dictate to any comrade how I want him or her to behave or carry into an exam room. All I do is tell them to read the Students Hand Book where all exam rules are clearly stated,” Owour a fourth year Education student said.
Students who spoke to Campus Vibe said that the use of mwakenya is a personal decision — and nobody can convince a student not to use the ‘back up’.
“The use of mwakenyas is in most cases a normal thing during exams. It depends on the tactics that one uses to avoid being caught. It all starts with unpreparedness for the exam that leads to one making the mwaks,” Mary Analiaka, a University of Nairobi student said.
She added: “Densely populated rooms provide the best environment mwaks can be easily and comfortably used.”
MUT VC Prof. Dickson Nyariki has weighed in the matter to support the project because it will help the students to leave the university fully baked.
“I am in support of the idea because at the end of the course, what a student needs to show is skills and not grades. This will help the university produce fully baked graduates,” Prof Nyariki said.
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