A major crackdown on examination theft rings has been launched with more than two dozen teachers interdicted and exam cheating hot spots put under watch. Principals of schools whose candidates had their Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results cancelled last year have been sent home in a move aimed at keeping exam cheating cartels away ahead of the start of national examinations in October.
According to a report by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC), 26 principals, supervisors and invigilators have been interdictedin the last two weeks. The whip was cracked after TSC fast-tracked discipline cases of heads of schools where 1,200 candidates had their results cancelled last year. The TSC report shows six of those interdicted are principals of secondary schools that accounted for a large part of the cancellations, with 1,022 candidates affected. Four others were supervisors in those schools while 13 were invigilators.
The details are contained in the KCSE Exam Irregularities 2017 Status Report On Teachers interdicted. It’s dated June 20, 2018. The Saturday Standard confirmed that all the teachers were served with their interdiction letters through their respective TSC county directors. TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia announced last month that 60 teachers faced interdiction over the 2017 KCSE national examinations irregularities. The disciplinary process is expected to end and actions taken before October.
The development comes as the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) identified cheating hot spots across the country. It also comes as the Ministry of Education launched this year’s monitoring exercise ahead of the tests in October. Several schools in Nyanza, North Eastern, Coast and Western have been identified and will be put under heavy surveillance. Also under close watch by Knec are schools in Nairobi, Eastern and Central regions. Sources at Knec familiar with security operations revealed that some institutions have been collecting unexplained money and are being watched keenly. Other schools have also set up command centres where exam papers will be sneaked in and worked out as students write the tests. “This time around, there will never be early exposure because we have put the schools on the radar and intelligence shows each step taken by these players,” said a senior ministry official who declined to be named because of sensitivity of the examinations. Some 1.7 million candidates have been registered to sit the examinations. Of these, 1,060,703 will sit KCPE, with 664,585 sitting KCSE.
KCPE examinations will be done at 27,161 centres while 10,077 centres will host KCSE candidates. Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohammed said last month that investigations have shown that cases of exam irregularities arise out of conduct by a few unprofessional teachers and exam officials who colluded with students to sneak materials into examination rooms.