The national examinations agency has been put on the spot over perennial exam leaks.
Yesterday, the National Assembly committee on Education accused the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) of actively facilitating examination leaks, including in last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination.
The committee, in its preliminary findings, accused KNEC officials of colluding with school administrators and parents to sell examination papers.
Committee chairman Julius Melly warned that the perpetrators will be dealt with firmly once the committee tables its findings in Parliament in the next two months.
“From confessions and talks by members of public, that one thing that is quite true and cutting across is that there was cheating in the 2022 KCSE, and the cheating in most of the exams originated from KNEC, the council itself is actually the main source of cheating. It is alleged that the council is the one selling its exams,” said Melly.
The committee also attributed cases of cheating to the pressure exerted on head teachers, by their employer, the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), to deliver good results so that they can be promoted.
This, he noted, forces the teachers to go the extra mile, including buying examination papers, to meet their targets.
“We want to investigate the extent at which the cheating went. The decision will be tough, we will make sure that this cheating stops. We are collecting views from the public so that we can know where exam cheating gaps are so that we can seal them. We are also here to find out if certain schools were awarded marks more than others in the just concluded KCSE exam,” said Melly.
“We will summon KNEC officials to come to the committee and explain why they leaked papers. We will eliminate this problem once and for all,” Melly added.
Melly said the committee will make recommendations spelling punitive measures against those found culpable.
The committee will further review the KNEC laws to remove any loopholes that facilitate examination cheating, Melly said.
In its public engagements yesterday, the committee was told that some schools pay as much as Sh1 million to get exam leakages to sustain their reputation as academic giants in the country.
Teachers who sought anonymity for fear of reprisals from authorities alleged that some national and private schools were notorious for buying examination papers from unscrupulous KNEC officials.
Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (KUPPET) Executive Secretary Mombasa branch Lynatte Khamadi claimed that some principals colluded with students who disappear from the school after being registered for the Form Four examination only to reappear during exam rehearsals to sneak in exam leakages.
“We have noted that some students deliberately commit offences so that they can be suspended, then they go out of their way to buy exam papers. These are the ones who sneak leakages to their fellow students. As school heads, we want to be helped because the law does not allow us to deregister (candidates),” said Khamadi.
The MPs were told that marking schemes were also leaked and generated to students before they sit for examinations through well-coordinated schemes and networks of people.
It also emerged that teachers who set examinations also collude with principals of some top public and private schools to leak questions that will appear in final national examinations.
Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Kilindini chapter led by secretary Dan Aloo demanded good pay for teachers who mark the examination to motivate and insulate them from being influenced.