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Report reveals how teachers, students used phones to cheat in KCSE

Tuesday March 29 2016

A police officer displays two pages of last year’s KCPE Social Studies examination material seized from pupils in Changamwe, Mombasa. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

A police officer displays two pages of last year’s KCPE Social Studies examination material seized from pupils in Changamwe, Mombasa. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAMUEL KARANJA
By SAMUEL KARANJA
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Teachers used social media groups they had formed to monitor their strike to pass leaked examination materials.

Investigations indicate that the tutors mostly used WhatsApp, a mobile phone social networking application, to send leaked copies of the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education and Kenya Certificate of Primary Education examinations because “it has no trace”.

The teachers, including heads and their deputies, were among the 170 people arrested in connection with the massive leakage that made a mockery of the Form Four and Standard Eight examinations last year.

Another 30 are still being tracked by detectives, says an investigations report on the 2015 examination leakage.

The report shows cheating involved an intricate web, which sucked in high school and university students, heads and their deputies, teachers, businesspeople, police officers, politicians and Kenya National Examination Council officials, among other persons.

The teachers were also angry with the government for having failed to yield to their demand for more pay and so condoned cheating,” reveals the report.

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Others were afraid that students would fail due to the strike, so they turned a blind eye to the cheating.

“The teachers used the same platform to come up with strategies to tamper with the national examinations. They chose to use WhatsApp because according to them, it has no trace,” said the report.

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Teachers also sent leaked examinations to parents who later shared them with students while other tutors revised with students just hours or minutes before the learners sat the same papers.

Although most papers were passed free of charge, other teachers charged candidates as much as Sh175,000 to access them.

Some schools established “mosques” inside the examination rooms where books were found, meaning students would be cleared to use the “mosques” for prayers but ended up accessing answers to the tests they were sitting for.

According to a report prepared by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and seen by the Nation, a teacher at Orongo Mixed Secondary School in Nyamasaria, Kisumu County, identified as Dennis Otieno Oketch used to receive leaked materials via WhatsApp.

He shared the examination material with two teachers from Lions High School, identified as Isaac Odinga Anjejo and Calvince Odima Oduor. The three were later arrested and prosecuted.

Another teacher, Mr Kennedy Oloo Odiera from Achego Girls in Chemilil, was arrested on February 25 for allegedly sending leaked exam materials to various schools, including to a teacher at Achego Primary School. He was taken to court the following day.

A teacher from a high school in Makindu, Makueni County was arrested in March and is still under investigations after a student in the school who was found with leaked examinations materials said he received them from the teacher.

Another teacher from a Thika school who was arrested on March 5 will have his day in court soon, after he confessed to detectives that he received examination materials on his mobile phone.

“He forwarded the same to Ms Rispar Anjawa, a teacher at Galana Secondary School. Rispar had been arrested and charged,” says the report.

To avoid being prosecuted, some teachers destroyed the electronics devices, especially mobiles phones after using them to send leaked exams.

A principal and his deputy from a private boys’ school in Mombasa County who had been accused of sending the KCSE exam materials disposed of their mobile phones, destroying evidence.

Another head from the same county also destroyed his phone.

The three acquired new phones which were later seized by the police for analysis. Their cases were reported to the DCIO Urban Police Station.

Another head in Mandera was accused of turning a blind eye even after being aware that a suspect was supplying students with examination materials daily.

“This is not possible without the headteacher’s knowledge. The cheating led to cancellation of results for 113 students,” it says.