Kenya grapples with massive examination malpractices

Kenyan education system has been plagued by cheating scandals

Kenyan education system has been plagued by cheating scandals

Authorities in Kenya are grappling with the increasing trend of examination malpractices in the country’s education sector.
Last year alone, forty six out of the forty counties recorded cases of cheating. The worrying trend saw a rise of 70 per cent in terms of cases of examination irregularities.

Speaking upon the release of last year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education(KCSE) examination results Thursday, the Kenya’s Secretary for Education Fred Matiang’i said the country’s capital, Nairobi, registered the highest number of examination malpractices.

“It is injustice to say the least. To our children, who toil for eight years in primary school and later on four years in secondary school just to be let down by these anomalies, the highest number of cases were recorded in Nairobi, Makueni and Meru counties,” he said.

The minister also announced that at least 5000 students have had their results withheld pending an investigation into their role in the examination malpractices. The Cabinet Secretary however, commended Isiolo County, in upper eastern Kenya which had a clean sheet; recording zero cases of cheating.

The secretary also said “All reported cases have been exhaustively investigated using procedures that have been put in place to ensure that standards are maintained from year to year.”

Dr. Matiang’i, on the other hand, maintained the results are still credible despite the significant cheating cases.

Following the rise in numbers of cheating cases, the country’s education ministry announced plans to discipline individuals rather than schools involved in a bid to ensure that they take personal responsibility for their acts.

The ministry also announced other measures to curb the practice among them, creating an inter-agency task-force that will oversee the audit of the trend in the performance of candidates in the form four exams in the last three years.

In the build-up to a curriculum review, the task force will also be tasked with getting answers as to why there is a low number of candidates scoring the minimum grade to gain entry into university. The minimum requirement is set at C+.
The ministry’s team will be led by Director General for Basic Education Leah Rotich, the team will use co-curricular activities, governance, leadership as well as academic performance to rank schools.

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