Scores arrested in KCSE exam cheating crackdown

Wednesday, November 6th, 2019 00:00 |
Star of the Sea Secondary School KCSE candidate Lilian Mwenda prays before the start of Day 2 of exam at the school PD/ BONFACE MSANGI

Eleven people, among them, seven Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination impersonators have been arrested in Kisii, in ongoing efforts to break cheating cartels in Nyanza.

Education Cabinet Secretary, Prof George Magoha yesterday said Government agencies are closely monitoring the exams and will see that cases of malpractices are contained, promising swift action against exam cheats perpetrators.

Confirming the arrests in connection with alleged impersonation at Milimani Ramasha Academy in Kisii, Magoha said tough action will be taken against people found abetting the malpractice in the ongoing exams.

Magoha also said another person linked with exposing Chemistry paper has also been arrested and will face the law. 

The CS said government agencies are also interrogating a case in which strangers were caught sitting the test in a Thika school.

The instances notwithstanding, Magoha said told Kenyans to expect national exams whose results are credible.

“I want to assure the country the Government is vigilant and is ensuring exam integrity maintained. I am here to ensure that the objective is achieved and we will leave no space for people out to mess up the lives of our children,” Magoha said when he supervised the exams at Kisumu Girls yesterday.

Earlier in the day, Magoha had supervised examination centres in Kamukunji where he decried the fact that there are still a few centre managers who seem to have collected a lot of money from people to facilitate early exposure.

“What they are doing now is to justify that the money has to be accounted for and so we keep watching to avoid early exposure. The Government is watching quite a few areas,” said the CS when he oversaw dispatch of papers at Kamukunji yesterday.

“I personally visited many centres on Monday in Migori, which has been marked as a hotspot and results for some of the schools were last year cancelled. I was at a very hot area in Uriri where action is going on right now. I can assure children are getting justice and taking exams as required,” Magoha said.

For anybody who opens the paper willingly and knowingly before time, Magoha said the intention can only be to facilitate early exposure.

He said early exposure is one of the major problems being experienced noting that centre managers are people who have managed schools so they cannot purport it was opened before time by mistake.

“We will hold you responsible for your own mistakes and the Government has acted swiftly. Persons caught trying to facilitate early exposure will not be involved in this year’s examination,” he warned.

And in Migori, officials overseeing the KCSE in one of the schools in Rongo in were reshuffled at the 11th hour.

The supervisor and invigilators were allegedly involved in an arrangement where question papers could be sneaked out to a home near the school where a group of teachers were waiting to answer them.

The exam officials were then to assist in forwarding the answers to candidates in various examination rooms at a fee.

In Rongo, after word leaked over attempted cheating, security teams accompanied by education ministry officials rushed to the institution and reshuffled the entire exam supervisors but, by time of going to press it was not be established whether they were deployed to other institutions for the same exercise.

The school in question produced the best candidates in mathematics in the last three years.

Last year, candidates in the said school staged a strike to protest that the principal ignored their request to contribute money to be given to exam body officials to award them good grades.

Their fate is still unknown as efforts to reach senior ministry officials in the county for comment was futile.

It was revealed that the supervisor was to be given Sh120,000 while invigilators and security officers were to get Sh60,000 and Sh40,000 respectively.

In Baringo, all was well with County Director of Education (CDE), Moses Karati, saying two girls are writing the papers in a maternity ward.

He assured the candidates, who delivered were comfortably sitting for their exams as they nurse their newborn babies at Baringo County Referral and Marigat Sub- county Hospitals respectively.

In Uasin Gishu and Narok, three candidates sat for their exams in Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital (MTRH) and Mediheal Hospital after being taken ill.

Two of the candidates are admitted at MTRH and the other at Mediheal.

And in Machakos, Kenya Secondary Heads Association (Kessha) Chairperson Kahi Indimuli called for strict vigilance during administration of the exams.

“I want to ask all our principals to be fully in charge of their examination centers and ensure candidates are present at the opening and sealing of answer sheets to avoid lapses. We want the KCSE exams to go on smoothly,” he told reporters.

Elsewhere, a student from Royal Vision High School in Narok County is sitting for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in custody after he was arraigned in court charged with rape.

The accused, Gideon Cheruiyot Chepkwony, 19, was arraigned before Narok Chief Magistrate Wilbroda Juma charged with raping a young girl on October 14, this year at around 4:00am in Narok town.

  He also faced an alternative charge of indecently assaulting the minor by touching her private parts.

 Ms. Juma ordered that the education office be served with proceedings so that they may put in place all logistics for invigilation of the accused’s exams and the Officer Commanding Narok Police Station (OCS) to provide security for the exams that the accused would be sitting for while in remand at Narok GK Prisons.

She further ordered that the prison authorities provide security and escort for the accused to school on the days of practical exams so that the accused could sit for them as per the examination timetable.

 The accused had previously appeared before Resident Magistrate Adeline Sisenda on October 18 this year to answer the charges where he had pleaded not guilty and told the court that he was a student awaiting to sit for his KCSE examinations and was awarded a bond of  Sh200, 000 with a surety of a similar amount but he could not raise the surety amount.

 The prosecution had opposed the release of the accused on bond alleging that the accused`s mother was interfering with witnesses as she had tried to bribe the complainant with Sh20, 000 so that she could withdraw the case.

Reporting by Irene Githinji, Noven Owiti, Tom Rachuonyo and KNA @PeopleDailyKe

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