Govt will act on historic exam cheating, Education CS Matiang'i says

Saturday March 12 2016

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i (second left) after he released the results of the 2015 KCSE exam at the Kenya National Examinations Council offices in Nairobi on March 3, 2016. With him is Education Principal Secretary Richard Belio Kipsang (right). PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i (second left) after he released the results of the 2015 KCSE exam at the Kenya National Examinations Council offices in Nairobi on March 3, 2016. With him is Education Principal Secretary Richard Belio Kipsang (right). PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

By NGARE KARIUKI
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Education Cabinet Secretary Dr Fred Matiang’i has said the government will finally act on the historic cheating that eclipsed the recently released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.

He said the exams, which recorded the highest rise in the number of cheating cases in history, have revealed serious systemic loopholes that need to be dealt with immediately.

“We cannot subject our children to such recklessness,” he said during the closing ceremony of an education conference for Catholic private educational institutions, head teachers and directors at Catholic University of Eastern Africa.

Last year’s KCSE examinations recorded a 70 per cent rise in cases of cheating from the previous year, with results of 5,101 students being cancelled as a result.

The CS had stated that all those involved in leaking the examinations will be brought to account but had been vague about how this will happen.

He has now set March 30 as the day the government will reveal the actions being taken to ensure this year will not be a repeat of the last.

Although there had been an uproar last year before the examinations that some of the question papers were already doing rounds on social media, the government stuck to its original programme.

This is even despite protests from Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary Wilson Sossion that the examinations had been compromised.

Then Education CS Jacob Kaimenyi had blamed the local examination distribution centres for the leakages.

Last week, Mr Sossion said the Kenya National Examination Council is to blame for the leakages and called for its disbandment.

“We also want the more than 5,000 students who missed their results to get a second chance. All the cases should be reviewed,” he added.

INCOMPETENT HEAD TEACHERS

Meanwhile, Education Principal Secretary Dr Belio Kipsang has advised religious organisations against imposing incompetent head teachers on the schools they sponsor.

He said a number of religious leaders insisted that the Teachers Service Commission appoint or retain incompetent teachers as school heads, saying they should recommend only those teachers who have capacity to effective school leadership.

Dr Matiang’i also urged the church to advise parents to take up the right parenting skills to help address drugs and alcoholism among children.

He clarified that bursary kitty the government sends to the constituencies should also benefit children in private schools and not just those in public schools.