Four Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) candidates were yesterday deregistered for engaging in malpractice while 20 teachers will be interdicted as the government steps up its crackdown on exam cheats.
The four were deregistered after they were found with mobile phones in an exam room, contrary to regulations. Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed yesterday revealed that three are from Garissa, one from Nairobi.
The CS, who witnessed the opening of examination papers in Naivasha before visiting some schools in the town, including Naivasha Girls Secondary School, said more candidates are likely to be deregistered since security agencies are still scrutinising some of the examination materials that they were caught with.
“And if we feel that the additional ones need to be deregistered, we will definitely do so,” Ms Mohamed said.
Without going into details, the CS said some of the affected students had attempted to pass around fake information about the exams, highlighting the dangers of such an attempt, including gullible students falling prey.
She warned that stern action will be taken on centre managers who do not execute their duties according to the examination regulations, adding that action had already been taken against some.
In Nairobi, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia hit out at private schools for encouraging cheating. She said some had employed unregistered teachers, whom they were using to facilitate cheating.
She added that teachers involved in cheating will be punished, including being sacked. She asked supervisors to frisk the candidates thoroughly before allowing them into the exam rooms.
In Nakuru, a 19-year-old candidate at Sitoito Mixed Day and Boarding Secondary School in Kuresoi North died Monday morning at the Kamwaura Health Centre, where he has been doing his exams. Medics at the centre said he was suffering from cancer of the lymph nodes.
In Kisii, 15 suspects charged with exam cheating at the Ogembo Law Courts will remain in custody for two more weeks after they were denied bond by Senior Resident Magistrate Margaret Nafula yesterday. They include Monianku Secondary School Principal Christopher Otieno and his deputy, Mr Peter Aroni, who were arrested in South Mugirango, Kisii County, last week.
The prosecution had applied to have the suspects detained further as investigations continue.
Speaking in Kisii town yesterday, Kenya National Examination Council Chairman George Magoha said the recent cheating in the KCSE exams are attributable to collusion between centre managers and security officials. He said principals and school managers come up with elaborate plans to cheat and suggested that candidates be frisked before and after exams to ensure that they do not have any unauthorised material.
In Homa Bay, the Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr Julius Jwan discouraged parents from buying exam papers for their children, “The security of the exam papers is assured. The Ministry of Education has ensured that the papers are tightly sealed, so getting access to them is out of the question,” he said.
In Nandi County, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) Chairman Omboko Milima asked President Uhuru Kenyatta, DP William Ruto and Cabinet secretaries to keep off secondary schools.
“The presence of the Mr Kenyatta, his deputy, and Cabinet secretaries do not add any value to the candidates, and the union has established that students spend more than 30 minutes panicking whenever a top government official visits during the exam period,” said Mr Milemba.
Reporting by Macharia Mwangi, John Njoroge, Ouma Wanzala, Magdalene Wanja and Benson Ayienda.