KCSE examination officials arraigned over cheating

Thursday, April 1st, 2021 00:00 |
Education CS George Magoha addresses Moi Girls High School KCSE candidates when he visited the school in Nairobi yesterday. Photo/PD/ALEX MBURU

Tom Rachuonyo and Irene Githinji

Four Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination officials, who were arrested for allegedly abetting irregularities, were yesterday charged in a Rongo court.

Francis Akoth Osodo, a centre manager, invigilators Florence Auma Otieno and George Magambo and Job Mamai (supervisor), appeared before Rongo Magistrate Raymond Langat but did not take plea after the prosecution requested for more days to complete investigations.

They were arrested for allegedly conspiring to aid candidates to cheat in the ongoing exams at a private school in Rongo sub-county, Migori county.

“The four colluded to allow cheating after they were promised money if they allowed candidates to consult each other during the exams.

They were also spotted aiding the candidates answer questions and KNEC officials who were alerted, acted promptly in arresting the culprits,” an exam official who sought anonymity claimed.

Their case will be mentioned on April 9 after which a date for hearing will be set.

No loopholes

The invigilators were accused of aiding candidates to cheat in English and Chemistry exam papers.

And speaking in Kibra, Nairobi yesterday, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha said the KCSE examination process was going on well, adding that the security arrangements in place allowed no loopholes for leakages.

“If you watch the way we process exams from the container, you will notice there is no way it can leak.

So when I see reports of exam leaking, I do not know where that vocabulary is coming from...the small issue we keep dealing with is premature exposure but, as you can see, from the container to exam room, it is sacrosanct,” said Magoha.

“When there are two or three people who are errant, they do not warrant anybody to think that the exam is not going on well. We urge security agents to be vigilant,” he added.

Regarding the marking of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exam, which was concluded on  March 24, the CS said the marking of the multiple choice questions was 64 per cent complete, which, he said, was within the ministry’s schedule.

“If it interests you, the children are not doing badly at all,” Magoha said.

He said chief examiners were already set at their respective stations and ready to start marking Kiswahili Insha and English Composition scripts.

He assured teachers involved in the marking that Covid-19 protocols had been fully observed in the centres where they will be based.

Undue influence

Separately, Education Principal Secretary Julius Jwan reiterated that the government had sealed all possible avenues for cheating in the exams. He said access to exam scripts earlier than stipulated period cannot help candidates but will instead cause them a lot of anxiety.

“All loopholes have been sealed and any mischievous attempts will be curtailed,” said Jwan who monitored KCSE examination distribution in Kiambu County.

Jwan advised centre managers and supervisors of examinations against encouraging exam malpractices, saying learners should be allowed to write the tests without any undue influence.

Achieve dreams 

The PS also assured candidates that the marking of the exams will take into consideration the interruption in learning caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Elsewhere, University Education and Research Principal Secretary Simon Nabukwesi encouraged Form Four candidates to continue revising what they have learnt to enable them achieve their desired results.

Nabukwesi, who was speaking at Strathmore School, Nairobi said by passing the examinations, they would secure a place at the university where they can pursue careers of their choice.

“It is only through hard work that one can realise their goals and pursue their dreams.,” said Nabukwesi.

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