Rogue teachers are asking parents to pay as much as Sh10,000 to abet cheating in this year’s national school tests, Kenya National Examinations Council chairman George Magoha has revealed. But the promise is fake, warned Prof Magoha yesterday during a briefing on preparations for this year’s primary and secondary school national exams, indicating that those who have already paid have been conned. The shocking detail of parents and teachers colluding to buy exam material was also confirmed by Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
“Children cannot go out to buy examination materials,” she pointed out. “It’s the teachers and parents who are facilitating this practice, but we want to assure that the examination will be credible and no one will have access to the real materials before the right time.”
To beat the leakage cartels at their own game, the Ministry of Education announced new radical measures that will punish students, their teachers and schools should any impropriety be confirmed. Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang said the answer scripts of candidates who will cheat in whichever way will not marked, the school where this happens will be deregistered, and the offending teachers and other officials arrested for prosecution.
The examination centres will also be under 24-hour security surveillance and boarder students will not be allowed use mobile phones for whatever purpose during the exam season. Last year, the results of 1,205 candidates in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations were cancelled as a result of mobile phone-related offences. Ms Mohamed announced that all examination centres will be secured using both the visible presence of uniformed policemen and the invisible eye of State surveillance apparatus.
“This will continue from the beginning to the end of the examination period,” said the Cabinet Secretary. “Examinations will follow a defined path, from the Kenya National Examinations Council premises to the candidate, of course through the container that we are all familiar with.” Any supervisor, invigilator or security personnel who will attempt to compromise the integrity of the tests will be arrested immediately and charged in a court of law, warned Ms Mohamed.