Students protest scrapping of results, unions want action taken

Saturday March 5 2016

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Chairman Omboko Milemba addresses journalists at Teachers Service Commission (TSC) offices in Nairobi on January 15, 2016. Mr Milemba said Knec had failed in its mandate. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUP

Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Chairman Omboko Milemba addresses journalists at Teachers Service Commission (TSC) offices in Nairobi on January 15, 2016. Mr Milemba said Knec had failed in its mandate. PHOTO | JAMES EKWAM | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

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The gravity of widespread cheating in last year’s KCSE examination started to emerge Friday as affected students protested the cancellation of their results.

A total of 64 candidates from national schools were among 5,101 students whose results were annulled.

Teachers’ unions called for the disbandment of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec).

“It is the work of Knec to secure examinations and no student or teacher should be punished at all,” said Knut Secretary-General Wilson Sossion.

Kuppet chairman Omboko Milemba said Knec had failed in its mandate.

In Mandera, students of Arabia Girls Secondary School boycotted classes to protest the cancellation of results for 23 candidates. Only five students got their results with the best student scoring a C-.

Mandera County Education Director Ismael Barrow said results of seven schools were cancelled.

In Western region, Vihiga, Nambale and Cheptenye Boys schools were affected.

“This is a shock to us. We are hopeful that this issue will be sorted out as soon as possible,” said Principal Solomon Sisuma.

At Cheptenye Boys Secondary in Kericho County, 65 students had their results cancelled.

Results for Chemistry and Biology affecting 184 candidates at Vihiga Boys High School were invalidated.

“We are unable to tell what happened as the exam was conducted in a conducive environment. We shall not appeal as Knec’s decisions are always final,” Principal Ezekiel Ayiego said.

In Borabu, Education CS Dr Matiang'i’s home District, Chemistry results for all 66 candidates of St Paul’s Omonayo were cancelled.

“When we did the exams at the school, there were no irregularities as we noted as staff,” said the Principal Lawrence Maranga.

Other schools in Kisii County that recorded Ys in various subjects were Ibacho, Gesicho, Nyanturago and Getembe Secondary.

In Nyandarua, results of 200 candidates of Nyahururu High School were cancelled after they were suspected of having cheated in Chemistry practical paper.

County Director of Education Mary Gaturu termed it extremely sad that out of the 237 students whose results were cancelled, over 200 came from one school.

“We have passed the information to the school and we are commencing investigations next week to get to the root of exactly what happened and then decide the way forward,” she said.

A total of 2,538 candidates who were involved in cheating were from 150 sub county schools, 1,817 from 56 county schools, 512 from 56 private schools, and 170 from 29 private examination centres.

In 2014, 2,975 candidates were involved in cheating.

The 2015 examination recorded the highest cheating rate, at 70 percent, and most of it was due to collusion. Only Isiolo County was not involved in the examination malpractice.

“All counties with the exception of Isiolo had candidates who were involved in examination malpractices,” said Dr Matiangi while releasing the results Thursday.

The cancelled results represent 0.98 per cent of the total candidature of 522,870.

The cheating was so widespread that some schools had their entire results cancelled.

Affected schools were Nkumari Secondary in Meru County (25 candidates), Propoi Secondary School (67) and Parua Mixed Secondary (32), both from West Pokot.

Others were Eisero Secondary (50) in Nandi County, Kitengela Boys in Kajiado County (76 ), Seka Mixed Secondary (25) and Waondo Secondary (77 ), both from Homa Bay County, and St Paul Omonayo Secondary in Nyamira County, with 66 candidates.

Dr Matiang'i said the cases of examination irregularities were reported by chief examiners, supervisors, invigilators, county and sub county education officials, Knec monitoring officers, candidates, head teachers and members of the public.

“All reported cases have been exhaustively investigated as per established procedures and processes that have been put in place to ensure that standards are maintained every year,” he said.

The Cabinet Secretary added the three counties with the highest number of examination centres involved in irregularities were Makueni, Nairobi and Meru counties with 22, 20 and 18 examination centres respectively.

Makueni, Bomet and Kisii counties had the highest number of candidates involved in examination irregularities with 382, 343 and 294 candidates respectively.

Dr Matiangi disclosed that a total of 171 persons have been arrested and charged in court for committing various offences related to the 2015 examinations.

He said those arrested included 11 principals and deputy school principals, 34 teachers from public secondary schools, five teachers from private secondary schools, 22 university and college students, 104 KCSE candidates, two police officers and one TSC Secretariat employee, among others.

Reports by Ouma Wanzala, Linet Wafula, Timothy Kemei, Derick Luvega, Aggrey Omboki and Manase Otsialo