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Kenya: Cheating cartels targeted in new plan as exams enter crucial week

The authorities are expected to step up the prosecution of those involved in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination malpractices.

The examinations enter a crucial stage this week with most compulsory subjects being concluded.

On Monday, the 664,550 candidates will take their Mathematics and Biology papers as government agencies focus on how to curb chances of early exposure of examination materials.

INTEGRITY

Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed has asked Attorney General Paul K. Kariuki to ensure that cases of exam malpractices are dealt with firmly.

“In order to effectively administer the examinations, it is essential to ensure efficient disposal of reported cases of examination offences and malpractices as detailed in Part IV of the Kenya National Examinations Council Act, 2012.

This will safeguard the entire process and protect the integrity of Kenya’s value system and the right to education,” said Ms Mohamed in a letter to Mr Kariuki dated October 5.

MECHANISM

She added: “Kindly engage the relevant arms of government to avail a mechanism to fast track any referred cases.”

The examination, which is being done in 10,078 centres, has seen several suspects arrested and charged in court.

The Sunday Nation has learnt that Mr Kariuki has requested Chief Justice David Maraga to put in place a mechanism to fast track all cases arising from the ongoing or previous national examinations.

The exams, which started on November 5, will end on November 28.

INTELLIGENCE

On Friday, a Maseno University student was charged in court with sitting for the ongoing exams at St Joseph Nyansakia Mixed Secondary School in Bomachoge, Kisii County.

Mr Davis Ongiri was arrested on Thursday night after officials received intelligence that he was a ‘fake’ candidate.

The suspect had done six examination papers before he was seized and booked at Ogembo Police Station.

MOBILE PHONE

The suspect has been detained until November 19, when he will return to take a plea.

In Nairobi, a candidate was arrested for being in possession of a mobile phone.

The Saad Secondary School student was sitting for Chemistry Paper Two when a supervisor noticed that the student was suspiciously uneasy.

ARRESTED

According to the police, the student, Abshir Mohamed, 22, was arrested and booked at Pangani Police Station.

Upon inspection of the mobile phone, police discovered that the Sim Card was registered under Mr Abshir Abdi Amin.

More than 26 cases of exam malpractices have been recorded in the last one week despite tough rules put in place by the government.

INVESTIGATIONS

On Thursday, Shaban Ouma Omar, a former secondary schoolteacher and former Ugenya North Ward Member of County Assembly was arraigned in Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi and released on a Sh200, 000 cash bail after denying the charge.

Another suspect Emmanuel Nakasi Nkonina was arraigned at the Kajiado Law Courts where detectives were ordered to detain him until Monday as investigations continue.

Last year, 101 cases of exam malpractices were reported, 33 in 2016 and 700 cases in 2015.

FRISKING

Following the incidents, Ms Mohamed has directed field officers to do serious frisking of candidates.

“We haven’t recorded a single case where any examination question or paper has been leaked since the examination started. All the papers have been delivered to examination centres with all unique Knec security features intact,” said Ms Mohamed.

COMMITMENTS

She commended Knec — contracted personnel for putting aside all their personal and official commitments to ensure the examination is as flawless as it can get.

“I thank all my Cabinet colleagues, chief administrative secretaries and principal secretaries who have joined my Ministry to monitor and supervise the examination,” said the CS.

However, Consumer Federation of Kenya has questioned the involvement of senior government officers in the exam process.

ASSESSMENT

“We cannot spend less on improving the quality education yet spend so much trying to stop examination cheating.

The government should invest in cheaper and sustainable systems that will eradicate exam cheating without deploying massive resources,” said Cofek in a report.

The report continued: “The urge to steal exams will remain as long as there are no mechanisms to ensure that viable options are made available for those that are not academically endowed.

In any case, it is a lucrative business for the cartels. We believe that exams should be scrapped and replaced by continuous assessment tests.”

By Daily Nation

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