, NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 27 – A student who had her Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results for 2011 cancelled has termed the experience as ‘a lesson well learnt.’
Speaking to Capital FM News on Friday, she said that the pressure brought about by the national examinations led her to seek an easy way out.
“Examinations are a challenge and during this period, people have so many options. As students, we are facing so much pressure and when you are in that situation and there is somebody who gives you another option then many people go for it because it is your future which is at stake,” she said.
“This thing about leakages the government should deal with the root cause first because they are dealing with the branches and it will not help because as much as I am being punished for that, another student may find himself or herself in the same situation,” she said.
She thanked the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) for allowing her to register again and promised not to repeat the mistake.
“I believe in a second chance in life and with this second chance, you know you can do your best. Mistakes are there for you to learn and I have learnt. To my fellow students, experience is the best teacher,” she observed. “I would like to tell parents to encourage their sons and daughters to do the best and not to look for shortcuts in life.”
The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) Secretary General David Okuta however says KNEC should have imposed stiffer penalties.
“They (KNEC) are admitting that they are guilty because they had not administered the examinations well. That is why they are not sure of what they are doing. If you are sure someone has cheated and you are sure of it, why do you give them a second chance?” he posed.
KNEC in the meantime defended the move to allow last year’s KCSE candidates who had their papers cancelled register afresh.
Chief Executive Officer Paul Wasanga said that the cancellation was punishment enough as they wasted one year.
He further pointed out that currently, there is no law governing that specifies the period during which cancelled examinations could be re-sat.
“What we have done in our law which we have circulated to the public including the candidates themselves to make comments is that if you cheat, then you will wait now for two years,” he said.
“Most of the children who were affected have actually re-registered to take the examinations and they will do so in a few months,” he added.
He however stressed that should the new KNEC Bill be passed into law, disqualified candidates will not be able to sit for any examinations for a period of two years.
“Cancellation of results is a very serious matter. In fact, it is more serious than actually being barred to take the examinations because it means that you have wasted a whole year,” he said.
The headmistress of Huruma Girls Secondary school where the results of four students were cancelled however said that the move to give the cheats a second chance sends a wrong message to the rest of the students who may also be tempted.
“Having brought mobile phones to school, that was going against the school rules. Whether they have been given another chance by KNEC, their chance in Huruma is gone because they are already tainted. We do not know whether they are going to repeat the same thing again,” she stated.
She insisted that the school will not want to associate with those tainted former students.
“It is fine KNEC has given them another chance which is good for them but as the principal of Hyrum Girls, they cannot come and do their examinations here. This was a decision supported by the Board of Directors together with their parents who found out that these children had flouted the rules,” she said.