, NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 1 – On March 6, this year, Capital FM News carried an investigative piece that exposed how exams were being leaked by well networked cartels, some of whom were in the then Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).
It is a trend that did not only risk compromising the quality of the education sector in the country, but it also eroded the confidence and trust of the institutions mandated in carrying out the exercise.
But in came ‘Magufuli’ as Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i is commonly referred to who not only apologised for last year messy exercise, that caused the cancellation of results of 2,709 KCPE candidates last year alone.
On Thursday, when the CS and his team ambushed the country with the announcement of the KCPE results, he did not apologise, but was a proud Kenyan, who had honoured his promise.
But how did it happen?
It was all team work according to the Education Cabinet Secretary, who referred to school head teachers as his heroes and heroines.
The well coordinated team consisted of officials from the Interior Ministry led by Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery and ICT Cabinet Secretary Joe Mucheru among others.
He made a revelation that the deliberations on how to eradicate the menace kicked off on March, this year.
“I wish to report that all the attempted cases of examination malpractices, totalling to only 21, were detected and dealt with appropriately before they could happen,” he said, marking an massive improvement from previous cases.
“I am proud to announce that the measures introduced by the Ministry of Education and other critical agencies worked incredibly well. Indeed for the first time in many years, the national examinations were not leaked. The administration of the examinations was the smoothest in recent memory.”
Matiang’i said of all the measures, the most significant, was the effective collaboration and coordination amongst relevant agencies of government.
This was coupled by numerous raids in various schools across the republic during the examination, to ensure the set procedures were strictly adhered to.
“The lesson we have learnt is that the government has all the machinery and capacity to run a clean, transparent and credible national examination,” the CS said.
To reciprocate this in future, he said that all the country need is careful planning and a committed staff who operate with high levels of integrity.
Then came the disbandment of the KNEC Board on March 24 after evidence showed that the officials were involved in the cheating menace in schools.
President Uhuru Kenyatta then appointed former University of Nairobi Vice Chancellor George Magoha to be the chairman of the examinations council as part of measures to redeem its dented image.
Magoha was mandated to direct the new board members to reform and re-engineer the operations of KNEC.
He was also asked to direct the new board to conduct a thorough audit/review of the entire examinations system and processes to enhance security and integrity of the national examination processes among other duties.
Interior CS on his part assured the country that, “we will never go back there again. We want to ensure the process is always flawless and seamless in future.”
On his part, Mucheru said the digitization of the process has also played a major role.
“I stand here very proud to be a Kenyan,” he said. “The results are not only accurate but also timely.”
President Kenyatta has commended the team and urged the Education CS to “continue with the stringent measures imposed during the 2016 examinations to ensure gains made are maintained and become the norm.”
The two national examinations have been termed as the most guarded in the history of the country.
A total of 942,021 candidates sat the 2016 KCPE examination, of these, 49.7pc were girls and 50.3pc boys.
“The analysis of candidature trends by gender in the last three years indicates that the percentage increase in the number of girls has consistently been higher than that of boys over this period,” he said.
Students who garnered between 301 marks and 400 marks are 207,141 at 21.75pc, those who range between 201 and 300 marks are 505,552 students at 52.66 pc.
Those who managed to get between 101 to 200 marks are 221,438 students at 23.25pc, while 6,747 garnered a 100 marks and below.
“I also wish to assure the public that all candidates who scored 400 marks and above will be admitted to national schools irrespective of their gender, region or centre. The Form One selection exercise will commence on December 9th, 2016,” Matiang’i stated.
Candidates should therefore collect their results from their respective examination centres.
Individual candidate results can also be accessed by sending a candidate’s index number through a Short Message Service(SMS) to 22252.
“Head teachers will be required to download and print the on-line results slips for candidates in their schools and authenticate them before they are released to parents, guardians or candidates,” he said.
It is the first time KCPE results have been released at the beginning of December, a move lauded by the Kenya National Union of Teachers Secretary General Wilson Sossion.
The release of the primary school examination results comes a day after secondary school candidates completed their KCSE examinations.