The government says it will now focus on eliminating impersonation in its quest to eradicate exam cheating even as officials say they were satisfied with the standards of invigilation in the just-concluded KCPE exam.
On the final day of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exams, Education PS Belio Kipsang said the Ministry of Education had sealed most loopholes in cheating.
“We want to assure the candidates and parents that the marking of this year’s KCPE [exam] will be done with greater efficiency and accuracy to enable them prepare for Form One next year,” said Dr Kipsang on Thursday.
He spoke at Kakamega Primary School after addressing 287 candidates shortly before they sat the Social Studies paper on the final day of the tests.
Earlier, Dr Kipsang started off in Kakamega South sub-county where he opened the containers in Ikolomani Constituency at 5.30am. He was accompanied by Western Regional Corodinator Mongo Chimwaga and the western coordinator for education Mrs Nereah Olick.
Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Director Julius Jwan said the government expects to have eliminated most forms of cheating by next year but admitted that impersonation, especially among private candidates in the country, remains a key challenge.
“This year we have not recorded any incident or rumour of exams leakage. However, we are yet to vanquish impersonation. This is where we are going to put our focus on,” said Dr Jwan.
He spoke in Kisii after witnessing the opening of an exam container at the Kisii County commissioner’s office.
He largely attributed the inclusion of the Interior ministry in guarding of exams for the success in curbing exam theft and malpractices at distribution centres.
He said the Interior Ministry's role since 2016 in taking national examinations as a matter of national security has helped in securing them against theft and cheating.
Dr Jwan further said that there have been no reports of lost container keys as was the case last year where some officers allegedly misplaced the keys.
“We also purchased specially designed padlocks and tightened security around the exam containers,” he said.
The KICD director added that the idea of appointing school heads as centre managers was fundamental in reducing exam malpractices because they will solely be responsible for any incidents in their institutions.
Dr Jwan was supervising the conduct of exams in Nyanza region which witnessed street protests days before the exam.
He thanked locals for maintaining peace and allowing children to sit their exams without any disturbance.
Kenya National Examinations Council chairman, Prof George Magoha, said this year’s examinations will be marked using machines, reducing the time involved in marking by half.