, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 7 – The Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has admitted that none of its officials were present in North Eastern Province to supervise the 2011 Kenya Certificate of Secondary School Education (KCSE) examinations.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Wasanga said that this was due to lack of security.
He adds that they were constrained by lack of staff leading to massive cheating by the candidates.
“We did not monitor North Eastern. We were not there and the reason is simple. Security was the issue and so we could not go there. So when people think that they can have a field day because the council does not appear there, then they are mistaken,” he said.
Wasanga however stated that despite the council’s absence in the region, strong mechanisms had been put in place to detect cheating among candidates.
He pointed out that a scrutiny of the answer sheets revealed that most students in the region engaged in collusion and this contributed to the cancellation of their results.
“We had mechanisms to detect cheating in the region. No examination board which has integrity will not establish its own mechanisms to detect cheating even when they are not there,” he stated.
He however pointed out that students who did not cheat were not affected.
“You can detect it whether you are there or not. If I write your paper for example, why would someone detect that this paper was not written by someone else. If you collude, 10 people end up having the same answers and one mind cannot be the same in everything,” he said.
Chaos broke out in Garissa town on Tuesday after students from secondary schools in the region took to the streets to protest the cancellation of their 2011 form four examination results.
Students in most schools did not receive their KCSE results in what KNEC attributed to cheating.
Business came to a standstill after the students who started their demonstration peacefully turned violent and started lighting bonfires, as others looted shops and markets.
Police in the region were caught unawares by the protesting students who started quietly pouring out of the schools at about midday.
Up to 3,000 students who sat their KCSE examinations in 2011 did not receive their results.
In Garissa, only two schools received results for the examinations while the rest had theirs cancelled.
Local Members of Parliament have also demanded an audit of the examinations council which they blamed for the anomaly.
Wasanga was however categorical that in most cases, teachers colluded with the students by providing them with answers for their papers.
He further stated that KNEC carefully scrutinised the examinations and confirmed that there was cheating before taking the necessary action.
“There was information being passed using a pulley to all the students sitting near the window. It reaches you just below the window, you pick it use it put it in a peg like hanger then it goes round and everyone sees it and care is taken so that the supervisor does not see,” he explained.
“If a candidate refuses to engage in such an activity, why would they be punished? In some cases, only one candidate was punished because he was caught,” he stated.
He pointed out that if there had been any doubt on the part of the council, the student was given the benefit of doubt.