The Ministry of Education has denied claims of leakage in the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) exams. Education CS George Magoha said that only fake papers were being circulated in some parts of the country purported to be genuine exam materials.
“We’ve seen an emergence of fake papers being circulated in some areas of this country, purported to be genuine examination materials,” Prof Magoha said
Already one businessman has been arrested for the illicit trade in Kericho County, according to CS Magoha. Test papers suspected to be part of the ongoing 2020 Form 4 national exams are on sale online, reinforcing fears of leakages and cheating.
Investigations by Nation reveals that exam papers are circulated and marketed on social media WhatsApp and Telegram groups accessible to students, teachers, and parents.
Exam peddlers trade in the evening targeting desperate teachers and candidates who seek leakage for the next day’s tests. They sell the papers at a cost of Ksh.1000 each according to the Nation.
The sellers ask buyers to pay and expect the papers at 7.30 am — suggesting that they could be rogue examiners who open exam papers before the stipulated time, take photos and send them to their clients.
Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha yesterday admitted that exam papers are on sale, but dismissed them as “fake” and warned parents and candidates against buying them.
“Our examination has not been leaked, it will not be leaked, and only genuine revision can help candidates to pass the examinations successfully,” Magoha said.
15 people have so far been arrested for perpetrating exam irregularities, and some of them have been charged in court. Those in custody include a university student, who was arrested in Busia County for aiding cheating at a private school.
15 mobile phones have also been confiscated from various examination centers and are undergoing forensic analyses to uncover the people behind the cheating. Eight of the phones were taken from candidates inside exam rooms, revealing the growing use of technology to cheat.
On Tuesday, the CS said several schools in Migori, Nyamira, and Garissa counties were being investigated for accessing exams before time. “Unprofessional examination officials managed to expose the examinations a little earlier than the scheduled time once the papers leave safely from the examinations container,” he said.
Impersonation of candidates has been employed by cheats. According to Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) guidelines on exam cheating, any candidate who commits an examination irregularity in any paper will have their results canceled.
Such a candidate will be awarded the result “Y” as the grade. Those who gain access to the exams ahead of the scheduled time risk up to 10 years in jail or a fine of up to Sh2 million.
If there is evidence of widespread irregularities in any examination center, the examination results for the whole center will be canceled.
Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) has also been blamed for lifting an entire section from a KCPE prediction paper that was set and sold to schools by Distinction Educational Publishers.
The CS says teachers in Migori County are under investigation following their attempts to tamper with the exam papers.