Magoha warns candidates against using masks to cheat cheating
Munira Mandano and Harrison Kivisu
Education Cabinet Secretary Prof George Magoha has warned candidates against cheating in the national exams, which will kick off on Monday next week.
Consequently, Magoha has also issued a stern warning to education officials against changing exam centres for candidates, saying the government will give appropriate authorisation where candidates had shifted to other schools as a result of disruptions by Covid-19.
Speaking in Kitsakamatsa area in Kwale during the ground breaking ceremony of the Sh1.2 billion East Africa Marine and Blue Economy Institute yesterday, the CS said they have intelligence that candidates are planning to write answers on their masks during the national exams.
He was categorical that candidates set to sit their national examinations have covered the syllabus, which was disrupted by Covid-19 disease.
“There will be a thorough inspection of the masks before the candidates get into the exam room,” Magoha said.
The CS noted that education officers are keenly watching two counties known for their notoriety when it comes to cheating in national exams.
“Migori and Kisii counties. We know you are very notorious in cheating and this time we have put you in our radar to watch you very keenly,” Magoha insisted.
While assuring that no candidate will miss his or her examination, Magoha said those heavily pregnant and those admitted in hospitals will be required to sit their exams wherever they are.
The exercise, he said, would be done under tight monitoring by examination officials saying the government has compiled data of the candidates in need of special attention.
“Every child shall sit the examination where the child was registered, except where the school folded up and the child moved to another school, Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has prepared itself to deal with that issue, there are some of education officials who are trying to move children from one center to another, you must tell us why you are doing so,” said Magoha.
In Mombasa County, Magoha who was on an inspection tour on examination preparations at Spaki Primary School, he also banned unnecessary activities in school compounds during the exams, saying only invigilators and authorised personnel will be allowed to enter the compound.
Media and other government officials have been asked to stay away.
“Let me warn because this exam is being done through a multi agency approach, all government agencies are ready, all exams are in the containers so the few crooked people who might be my own staff, or teachers or others who are trying to confuse the people to cheat, we are watching you, don’t even attempt, we will nab you,” said Magoha.
He at the same time also urged parents to let the candidates do their national exams at the centre where the students were registered except in areas where schools were closed due to security situations in that area.
“We strictly want the students to do their exams where they were registered except with special cases of security situations where schools were closed temporarily we will further advise on the centers the students will do the exams,” he continued.
He, however, urged parents to stay with their children and be keen on their behaviors as they begin their holiday.
“The children are now closing schools, please stay and watch them carefully and monitor their behaviours and movement and what they do,” he said.
However, Kwale Governor Salim Mvurya urged the CS to give priority of employment in the institution once it completes to the locals living in the area.
“This is will be a high standard national institution that will have learners from Burundi, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda who will be coming to study on marine and Blue economy studies therefore give the locals first priority when it comes to jobs,” Mvurya said. The institution will be set up on a 40-acre piece of land.