Biometrics dragnet for teachers in exam fraud

Tuesday, May 11th, 2021 00:00 |
Teachers Service Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia during release of the 2020 KCSE exam results, yesterday. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Mercy Mwai @wangumarc

 Teachers Service Commission (TSC) has launched Biometric Enrolment and Validation of teachers in all public schools to curb exam malpractices.

The system seeks to apprehend perpetrators of exam fraud while protecting innocent teachers.

Commission chief executive Nancy Macharia said the biometrics would entail enlisting teachers’ fingerprints, which can then allow for forensic and intelligence-led investigations in cases where exam papers are tampered with, and where cell phones and other gadgets are used to abet exam malpractices.

According to Macharia, TSC is at the tail end of finalising consultations with Office of the Data Commissioner on the rollout, which in future will be mandatory for all teachers joining TSC to undergo the biometric enrolment before entering the commission’s payroll.

“The use of Biometric Validation will assist in vindicating innocent teachers from being blamed for offences they did not commit,” said Macharia.

 “This inexplicable scenario has forced TSC back to the drawing board to devise a waterproof system that will help us to accurately detect, identify and apprehend perpetrators of examinations fraud while protecting innocent teachers whose gadgets may be misused,” she said.

Macharia added: “ We think this will only be possible if investigators can examine and conduct a forensic analysis of fingerprints of the people who tamper with examination materials.” 

 Speaking during the release of this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examination, Macharia said the decision to launch the new system follows complaints that some teachers engaged in malpractices while administering exams.

She said, although they will take action against those who engage in such violations, there is need for TSC to ensure they devise ways of accurately identifying crooks while at the same time protecting innocent teachers.

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