Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha and Machakos Director of Criminal Investigations (DCIO) Rhoda Kanyi have issued contradicting statements over a KCSE Mathematics paper 2 leaked on Monday.
While CS Magoha termed fake the Mathematics KCSE exam leaked on WhatsApp by a high school principal in Machakos County, Mrs Kanyi said the leaked paper was real as it was same paper that was done by candidates the following day.
Betta Mutuku, the principal of ABC Kiseveni Secondary School in Machakos County, was arrested on Tuesday 6th for posting the KCSE Mathematics paper on her WhatsApp status.
Mutuku has since rejected the allegations saying she is not aware who posted the paper on her Whatsapp status.
Police officers led by Machakos DCIO Rhodah Kanyi stormed the school hours before the exam began and whisked her off to the police station for questioning.
Ms. Mutuku is said to have put the Mathematics paper on her WhatsApp status since Monday evening for the candidates to study overnight ahead of sitting for the actual exam on Tuesday.
Her phone was also confiscated as investigations began.
CS Magoha’s stance that the Mathematics paper that was done on Tuesday was fake when the DCIO Kanyi said they confirmed by Tuesday that the paper was the exact one done by candidates raises eyebrows on integrity of the KCSE 2020 exams.
Last week on Tuesday an invigilator in Migori County was arrested for leaking the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) to candidates ahead of scheduled time.
Education CS George Magoha said the invigilator will face criminal charges in court.
“We have arrested an invigilator at a centre in Migori County who was sharing some of the materials that are exposed before the time scheduled,” Prof Magoha had said.
He said the malpractice happened between the period when the examination papers left the distribution centre (metallic containers) and when they arrive at the examination centre.
Prof. Magoha said the ministry examined the contents of the leaked Mathematics paper in Machakos and established it did not match the exam questions set in the KNEC test.
The minister made the remarks on Tuesday, April 6 at Moi Girls High School-Eldoret in Uasin Gishu County.
“I have been assured [by officers in my ministry] that the [Mathematics] paper, which was circulating [on WhatsApp] was fake. You don’t have to worry about the credibility of the exam,” he said, responding to questions fielded by journalists.
The CS said he suspects a fake exam syndicate is behind the circulation of the “leaked” paper.
“They are banking on teachers and students’ desperation to make a killing,” he added.
The minister said the exam’s credibility had not been interfered with, given “no fake [KCSE] paper has been confirmed to be in circulation”.
“We have enhanced nationwide surveillance to ensure the ongoing exams are not leaked ahead of the scheduled test time.”
The minister warned those circulating fake KCSE exams, saying they would be arrested and arraigned.
“Parents, teachers and students shouldn’t fall prey to this syndicate, who are only after their money,” he said.
The CS said so far there has only been one test that was shared with students before its scheduled time in Migori and that the matter is being handled by police, he stated.
“Leaking the examination 30 minutes to time won’t be beneficial to the candidates,” he said, adding: “Unlike previous years, one cannot open an exam paper before the scheduled time for collection. The security features on the packaging do not allow for a paper already tampered with to be repackaged without eliciting suspicion.”
Prof. Magoha said a crackdown on exam cheating has been launched, and that 33 smartphones were recovered from candidates of a school in Wajir County.
“We are investigating whether the learners used the mobile devices to engage in exam-cheating.”
The students will, however, continue writing their tests uninterrupted, the CS said.
In December 2019, the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) cancelled results for 1,309 candidates linked to cheating.
The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) engaged some 227,679 teachers to serve the Knec as invigilators, supervisors, centre managers and examiners during this year’s exams.
Prof Magoha sought to alley fears of more leakage, saying that all examination materials are safe and no candidate will have unfair advantage over the rest during the test.