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Testing Fraud in Kenya: Police, Teachers Busted in Exam Leak

March 30, 2016 at 05:53 am | News

Fredrick Ngugi

Fredrick Ngugi | Contributor

March 30, 2016 at 05:53 am | News

Kenyan high school students sitting for an exam. (Source: The Daily Nation)

A damning investigative piece by NTV has exposed how teachers colluded with police to steal the last Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams. The report revealed a well-choreographed plan by police and teachers tasked with the responsibility of administering the exam to leak exam papers to Form Four candidates with the aim of making money. A teacher in Mandera County is said to have made over 1.5 million shillings from selling leaked exam papers to fellow teachers, who then distributed them to their students.

While announcing results on March 3, 2016, Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was at pains to explain to the country why cases of exam irregularities had risen by 70 per cent. Over 5,000 individual KCSE results were cancelled this year, which is almost double the number of results cancelled the previous year. The Education CS proceeded to disband the Kenya National Examination Council and called for the arrest of top KNEC officials, including its chairman Mr. Joseph Kivuli. The officials were released after recording statements with the police.

Exam Leakage Cartel

The report, which was compiled with the help of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, exposed how examinations have been compromised over the years. It linked the perennial exam leakage to a cartel involving school heads and police officers mandated to facilitate national exams.

According to the report, five top officials at the Kenya National Examinations Council have been distributing leaked exam papers to accomplices at an agreed fee.

The findings further pointed to a weak exam distribution system that is rife with loopholes, questioning the wisdom behind using police stations as storage centers since that’s where the initial leakage occurs.

Over 5,000 individual KCSE results were cancelled this year, which is almost double the number of results cancelled the previous year.

The exposé revealed serious weaknesses in the exam sealing system,, showing how easily police officers tamper with exam seals without detection. A teacher cooperating with investigating officers was quoted saying that “KNEC seals are not quite secure as people think.”

Drastic Action

Apart from disbanding the examination body, the ministry of education has embarked on a number of other remedial processes aimed at restoring sanity and integrity to the country’s education sector.

Curriculum development experts are set to meet in Nairobi this week to deliberate on a proposed new curriculum. The new syllabus is expected to replace the existing 8-4-4 system, which has been blamed for over-reliance on one final exam and an increased rate of high school dropouts.

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