NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 1 – It all started as a mere joke on social media but who knew it would come knocking this soon?
After reformist Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiangi delivered one of the ‘cleanest’ Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE) exams results, a caution was put to all those who sat examinations before Matiangi.
A question was posed, were you an after Matiangi (AM) or Before Matiangi (BM) student?
As hilarious as it would appear, a section of employers are now categorical while advertising for job opportunities… the certificate must be AM – After Matiangi.
AM meaning one must have acquired a school certificate while the CS was at the helm of the Education ministry.
One of the adverts posted in a local daily Wednesday calls for potential security guards and top of the requirements is a D+ in KCSE and in brackets indicates it must be a Matiangi one.
In 2015, both KCPE and KCSE exams were massively leaked and the situation was bad such that one would find an examination paper meant to be sat the following day circulating on social media.
This saw the cancellation of KCSE exam results of 5,100 candidates accused of cheating – the highest in the history of the national examinations – and even surpassed the previous highest figure of 3,812 in 2013.
Then came Matiangi who vowed enough is enough and the trend was to be reversed.
He initiated a surgical operation of the exams custodian – the Kenya National Examination Council- which had become rogue by compromising the future of the country through trading of the examination papers.
On May 24, last year, the CS disbanded the KNEC board in a move that would see an overhaul of the crucial body.
He 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.
He was asked to direct the new board members to reform and re-engineer the operations of KNEC.
Magoha was tasked 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.
He said that it was unacceptable to subject the lives of so many children to uncertainty on account of recklessness caused a few people. “We cannot continue living this way and we cannot continue entertaining this kind of nonsense. Examination leakage in schools must stop.”
Then came the marking of the examinations, which was highly guarded and time drastically reduced.
Unlike in the past, the examinations were announced the same year in a yet another one of, all thanks to Matiangi.
So next time you hear an employer insist on having an After Matiangi certificate, you know why – no taking chances.