Magoha warns parents plotting to engage in exam malpractices

Tuesday, November 5th, 2019 05:22 |
Education CS George Magoha (right) with his PS Belio Kipsang. Photo/TABITHA MBATIA

Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday warned of a plot by parents to facilitate malpractices in Nyanza region, as the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams kicked off.

Magoha, who officiated the start of the exams in Kisumu—one of the areas cited as a possible hotspot for cheating—said his ministry was aware of parents who had collected money and were planning to buy exam materials for their children who are sitting this year’s exam.

The CS cited Homa Bay, Migori and Kisii counties as some of the areas where parents had contributed about Sh200,000 to buy exams.

Magoha termed it as unfortunate, the fact that the said parents have identified supervisors whom they plan to pay Sh120,000, exams centre managers Sh60,000 and the remaining Sh40,000 is meant for police officers.

“We are receiving information that is not encouraging at all. Parents have still gone ahead and collected colossal sums of money to buy exam papers and we are warning our children to keep off from such unlawful plans,” said Magoha.

He told candidates not to be lured into exams cheating scheme or risk missing their results. “Nobody should say they were not forewarned against getting involved in exam irregularities,” he said.

The minister affirmed that the examination exercise shall be tightly monitored.

Meanwhile, it was a tragic start for KCSE exam in Naivasha after a principal died on the spot while her two counterparts were left fighting for their lives after they were involved in an accident on their way to collect examination papers.

The 5am accident along Naivasha-Mai Mahiu road occurred after the car they were travelling in rammed into a stalled trailer.

Rev Jeremiah Gitau School principal Mary Wanjiru Macharia died on the spot while her Kiambogo and Mustard Seed secondary counterparts, David Kimani and John Kago, respectively, sustained injuries.

Eyewitnesses said the trailer had been left partially parked on the roadside. They added that it was a dark and foggy morning, hence poor visibility.

Officer arrested

Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) chief executive Dr Julius Jwan visited the scene and said the injured were taken in Kijabe Mission Hospital.

“We’ve made sure that the students got their papers on time and they will be informed about the accident once they are through with their day’s papers,” he said. 

Teachers Service Commission (TSC) chief executive Nancy Macharia sent a message of condolences to Wanjiru’s family and wished quick recovery to the injured teachers.

“The commission appreciates commitment to duty of the three teachers and wish to reassure their families, friends and schools that the commission is with them during this period of pain and loss,” Macharia said in a statement. 

It was yet another tragic morning in Nyatike, Migori, after a 19-year-old boy drowned in Lake Victoria hours before sitting his papers. Tyson Sunga, a candidate at St Paul’s Odendo Secondary, is said to have gone to do his laundry at Sori Beach when the tragedy struck.

Nyatike sub-county police commander Stella Too said the candidate’s body was found floating in the waters by a fisherman.

Meanwhile, a Nairobi West exam centre supervisor was arrested after opening KCSE English Paper II exam before scheduled time. 

Kenya National Examination Council (Knec), however, assured that no question was leaked, adding that security agencies are handling the matter. 

The centre in question  is being hosted at Olympic Primary School, Kibra.

Transfer students

In Busia, an 18-year-old candidate  from Brother Nicholas Secondary School sat her examination in hospital after delivering a baby boy weighing 3.8kg.

A nurse at Busia Referral Hospital, Nanjala Kiberenge, said Janet Majingu was received at the institution on Sunday night while in labour and delivered at 3am through Caesarean section. 

In Uasin Gishu, two candidates sat for their exams after giving birth on Sunday. 

The girls aged below 16 sat their maths paper at Hills Mixed Secondary School in the outskirts of Eldoret.

At the same time, exam papers were airlifted to several schools in Tana River owing to inaccessibility of the centres following raging floods. 

Tana River Education director James Nyaga said Wardena Secondary School students had their papers airlifted after the centre was marooned in water. The government also had to transfer 22 students from Majengo to Ndura secondary school after River Tana burst its banks.

Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, who visited Mama Ngina Girls, Aga Khan High School and Star of the Sea Girls’ school,  warned exam centre managers against any attempt to violate the tests regulations.

Reporting by Irene Githinji, Kirera Mwiti, Harrison Kivisu, Noven Awiti, Henry Andanje, Winstone Chiseremi

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