1,700 miss results over exam cheating

Friday March 1 2013

A man enters Maranda High School as reports of the school’s success streamed in yesterday. The national school that emerged seventh nationally had one case of cheating. Photo/WILLIAM OERI.

A man enters Maranda High School as reports of the school’s success streamed in yesterday. The national school that emerged seventh nationally had one case of cheating. Photo/WILLIAM OERI. NATION

By LILLIAN ONYANGO [email protected]

The national exams council has cancelled results for 1,700 students over irregularities.

Education Minister Mutula Kilonzo Friday said the cancellation had affected 118 exam centres.

He said 88 suspects had been arrested in connection with the cheating cases.

Mr Kilonzo said concerted efforts by government agencies had borne fruit as last year’s arrests were significantly higher than the 15 made in 2011.

He applauded the collaboration between Kenya National Examination Council, ministry of Internal Security, National Intelligence Service, Criminal Investigation Department, Kenya Police and Administration Police for their efforts.

“They did a good job and this goes as a warning to all those aiding and abetting cheating that it will not be business as usual starting from today,” Mr Mutula said in Nairobi.

Out of the 436,349 candidates who sat for the exams, 1,700 were involved in irregularities.

“This is a significant drop from the 2,927 who were involved in 2011,” Mr Kilonzo said.

Garissa recorded the highest number of exam irregularities among the 39 counties that were affected, with 16 cases. It was followed by Mandera (10) and Kisii (nine). Others were Migori, Kisumu, Wajir and Nairobi.

Maranda High School, which is a top national school, had one case of such wrongdoing.

“I would like to challenge the courts and the media to follow up these cases to make sure that fraudsters in exams are prosecuted as quickly as possible and the results made available to other Kenyans so that they can know that cheating is no longer an option for anybody in education,” the minister said.

The Kenya National Examinations Council Act, which was enacted last year, provides for stiff penalties for exam offences.

Anyone found leaking exam papers and other examination malpractices commits an offence and will be liable, upon conviction, to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding Sh1 million, or to both.

Also, anyone caught impersonating a candidate risks serving a jail term not exceeding two years, or a fine not exceeding Sh2 million, or to both.

They will also be prohibited from taking an exam conducted by or on behalf of the council for a period not exceeding three years.

At the same time, Mr Kilonzo congratulated candidates and schools from nine counties which did not have any cases of cheating.

They included Kirinyaga, Murang’a, Machakos, Kitui, Isiolo, Samburu, Kajiado and Vihiga, among others.

“Despite this drop in cases of examination irregularities, we must do everything possible to ensure that cheating is stamped out of our exam system,” he said.