, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 31 – 2,709 candidates who sat the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) Examination will not join secondary schools after their results were cancelled due to cheating.
It was the second highest number of canceled results in the last 10 years.
In 2011, exam cheating was at the peak with 7, 974 candidates losing their chance to join Form One after their results were canceled.
In the following year, 2012, there was a drastic decline to 732 cases.
However, from 2013, cases of exam cheating have been rising.
Newly appointed Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i while announcing the 2015 KCPE results on Wednesday described exam cheating as ‘nonsense’ that should not be allowed to continue.
“We must all agree as responsible people that we must bring to this matter of examination cheating to an end once and for all,” he said, “we must end this nonsense.”
Though the students have to individually carry the cross of cheating by missing out on Form One, various education officials are demanding a thorough investigation on the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC).
In their view, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) should explain how examination papers leak from their offices to members of the public way before the exams start.
“Teachers access the exams when they are in the centres and that is not where the leakage begins. The leakage begins a number of days before exams, and we saw it,” Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers Deputy Secretary General Moses Nthurima explained.
According to Nthurima, it was unfair to cancel results of the 2,709 candidates without questioning how they got the leakage from KNEC.
“Condemning the children when there were massive irregularities is hypocritical on the part of KNEC. They should have allowed every child to get the results. It is unacceptable for any person to say, these are the people who have stolen the exam,” he said.
County Director of Education in Kajiado Alex Majani partially concurred with Nthurima.
Though he agrees with KNEC’s decision that those caught cheating should not get their results, he said the punishment should not be selective.
In his view, all culprits involved in leaking and cheating during the KCPE examination should also get punished.
“We want to hold everybody responsible including the candidates.”
“We teach children to prepare them for the examination but we don’t teach them to cheat,” he asserted.
He echoed remarks that examination cheating should be dealt with conclusively by exposing all officials and people responsible.
Matiang’i on Wednesday was agitated that officials including schools heads and teachers were culprits of the menace of exam cheating.
“I am saddened to note that head teachers and teachers were mostly responsible for abetting and perpetuating examination irregularities. It is difficult to comprehend how some of the very persons entrusted to shape and mentor the children are at the forefront enabling cheating in examinations,” he wondered.
Equity Group Foundation Education General Manager Dr. Joan Ngunnzi Education urged Matiang’i to ensure those involved in spoiling the future of the children are shown the door.
“I am very disappointed as a parent and a stakeholder in the education sector. I feel that the continued trend of children cheating in the examination has to stop. I like the fact that the CS was categorical that this has to stop. It is actually nonsense because we have been singing the same song every year but it doesn’t stop,” she said.
According to KNEC Chief Executive Officer, Joseph Kivilu, 157 individuals including teachers, head teachers, university students, candidates and parents’ were arrested and prosecuted for examination cheating-related offences.