The Star (Nairobi)

Kenya: KNEC Says Rules Will Reduce Cheating

The Kenya National Examination Council yesterday praised the new examination rules to stop exam cheating. Knec CEO Paul Wasanga said the rules will be followed to the letter. Wasanga said the policy will ensure high standards of education are met.

"We must do all it takes to ensure we eradicate all manner of cheating and irregularities," Wasanga said.

According to the newly gazetted rules, a candidate will be banned from sitting for the examinations for three years if found guilty of the malpractices. Some 1,576 candidates who sat their examinations last year will not get their results. Their results were cancelled by Knec.

Education minister Jacob Kaimenyi has ordered for investigations into the irregularity claims. "Generation of data by Knec is meant to inform and improve the admission of examinations," the CEO said and called on schools to comply with the regulations.

He called on parents to take advantage of the free primary school education and ensure their children stay in school until they clear their studies.

The candidates who sat their KCPE examinations last year were enrolled in standard one in 2006, with more than 1.2 million pupils admitted countrywide. However, the number dropped from the original, with 386,578 missing out on the class eight list.

"I request parents to allow their children who go to standard one to proceed to standard eight, in order to reap the full benefits of free primary education."

According to yesterday's results, 49.2 per cent of girls sat for the exams, compared to 50.8 per cent boys; a percentage the government has lauded as a step in the right direction towards achieving gender parity. The number of examined females has been rising, with some counties recording higher registrations compared to males.

Wasanga put on notice communities that discontinue girls' education to marry them off before attaining 18 years, saying the government will apprehend and charge them."There is need to sustain all children in schools, and no one should dropped before completing their studies."

Since the establishment of Knec 29 years ago, more than 15 million candidates have been examined, at 53 and 47 per cent males and females respectively.

Hailing the council's mandate, the PS in charge of Science and Technology, Collete Suda acknowledged its manner of managing hitches: "They [hitches] are normal, but Knec has done a commendable job of addressing them.

Wasanga said Knec had formulated rules that are intended to create order, coherence and fairness in the examining process, adding that they were meant to "strengthen the relationships between all stakeholders".

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