8 October 2012

Kenya: It's Tough for Cheats as MPs Tighten Exam Law

Photo: Capital FM
Parliament has approved the repeal of the Kenya National Examinations Council Act.

PEOPLE involved in examination malpractices should be on the lookout as Parliament has approved the repeal of the Kenya National Examinations Council Act.

MPs concluded debate on the Kenya National Examinations Council Bill 2012 last Tuesday and were unanimous that the existing law is out of sync with the national socio-economic activities.

MPs expressed concern over the security of national examinations and willful and malicious damage of examinations materials, that has been witnessed in the past.

They supported the proposed law arguing it is necessary to have a strong legal framework to deal with the issue of fraudsters who threaten the integrity of national examinations.

Section 27 of the Bill provides that it will be a criminal offence for any unauthorised person to be found in possession of examination materials. Such person shall be liable for a prison term of 20 years, a fine of Sh2 million or both.

Section 27 (2) provides it shall not be necessary for the prosecution to prove that the paper, material or information for the examination is real or false.

Section 29 provides for a jail term of 5 years or a fine not exceeding Sh1 million for the person who is charged with the responsibility of managing and handling examinations but acts negligently leading to loss, damage or exposure of examinations materials.

Examination officers who through acts of negligence make it possible for candidates to access examination papers will be liable for a 10-year jail term or a fine of Sh2 million.

Education minister Mutula Kilonzo admitted the government has had serious problems with the security of examinations which has created a weakness regarding the perception of those examinations.

He said since 2008, more than 40 persons have been arrested and charged in connection with engagement in examination offences. Two of these paid a fine of Sh5,000, three were sentenced to serve a jail term of 12 months each while one was put under probation for six months.

Rangwe MP Martin Ogindo proposed the government should consider using biometric identification system to register national examination candidates.

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