, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – The Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT) has hailed Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i for the steps taken to curb cheating in the recently conducted and ongoing national exams.
Addressing the press on Wednesday, Secretary General Wilson Sossion endorsed the position that anyone found culpable in any examination irregularities or cheating should be charged and prosecuted.
He indicated that this will ensure that the culture of cheating and subsequent corruption is eliminated and qualified candidates get the reward for their hard work.
“Punish anyone who is involved. Do not wait when exams are released in the month of March and that is when we begin witnessing punishment of those who are involved. Why do you punish in March when theft took place in the month of November? We have said for once (sic), there should be no mercy. As a labour movement, we uphold the integrity of the exams,” he stated.
Sossion further stated that every measure should be taken to maintain the integrity of the examinations.
“Do we have the right students being admitted to the various courses in the Universities both locally and abroad on the basis of fraudulent exams? We want lawyers who made it, doctors who made it, teachers who made it,” he said.
The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) announced measures that included a 10 year jail term for exam cheats.
The guidelines for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) imposes up to Sh2 million in fines for those found culpable.
The regulations further state that any person who gains access to examination material and knowingly reveals the contents, whether orally or in writing, to an unauthorised party, whether a candidate or not, will be in violation of Section 27 of the Act and the penalty will be imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or a fine not exceeding Sh2 million or both.
In a statement, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Acting CEO Mercy Karogo urged candidates to ensure that their conduct is above board during the examinations period to avoid results cancellation.
The guidelines further explain that anyone who impersonates legitimate candidates will face a two year jail term or be fined Sh2 million, or face both penalties while those who damage exam material will be fined Sh5 million or 5 years in jail.
The tough measures come as part of the broader reforms in KNEC aimed at restoring credibility of the national examinations which has been dented in recent years.
Part of the measures announced by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Mating’i to detect cheating was that KNEC would appoint school principals and head teachers to be in charge of their examination.