Thousands of candidates whose results were cancelled for cheating in last year’s Form Four exam have another chance to redeem themselves.
The Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) said on Sunday they would be allowed to register for this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination, despite the March 31 deadline.
Knec communications officer Fridah Were said each case would be treated separately.
The council cancelled the results for 2,927 of the 411,783 candidates who sat the KCSE last year due to irregularities.
The candidates were from 154 schools, with 1,694 of them from North Eastern Province. Results for 40 of the 60 schools in the province were cancelled, sparking violent protests in Garissa.
“This indicates that over 60 per cent of the candidates in North Eastern Province got their results but 40 per cent who were involved in examination malpractices had their results cancelled,” former Education minister Sam Ongeri told Parliament last month.
Prof Ongeri was giving a ministerial statement on the cheating incidents in the province after Dujis MP Aden Duale asked the House to investigate the cancellation of the results.
Mr Duale also petitioned Parliament to demand the examination papers be marked afresh.
But Prof Ongeri said the candidates had cheated in the exam and would only be allowed to register again.
“Candidates who have, therefore, gone through our education system and seek to pass their final examination through cheating make a mockery of the very values that they are supposed to have acquired in school.
Such candidates may believe that they can go through life expecting to achieve every good thing through cheating,” he said.
Most cases of irregularities (1,688) involved candidates discussing or sharing notes in the exam room, while eight candidates were caught with unauthorised materials.
The national examiner recently proposed stringent measures to deal with the rising cases of cheating.
Among the changes, those found assisting candidates cheat in national exams will face a jail term of five years or a fine of up to Sh1 million in new amendments to the Knec Act.
Impersonation of candidates will cost the culprits a two-year jail-term or a fine of up to Sh2 million.
Presently Knec has no powers to punish individuals who collude with candidates to commit examination irregularities. For instance, if an exam supervisor helps candidates cheat, Knec can only write to the Teachers Service Commission requesting it not to allow the suspect to oversee exams again.
In the proposed law, candidates found copying shall be prohibited from sitting the exam for three years, besides having their results cancelled.
Those who proffer forged examination certificates and diplomas shall face imprisonment for 10 years or a Sh10 million fine.
The national examiner also proposes a fine of Sh5 million and a jail-term of up to five years for damaging or destruction of examination material or facilities.