13 November 2017

Kenya: Government Deregisters School in Nakuru Over Exam Cheating

Photo: Ayub Muiyuro/Daily Nation
An administration police officer helps a school principal carry KCSE examination papers at Gilgil Sub-County offices in Nakuru on November 13, 2017.

The Ministry of Education has deregistered a school in Gilgil, Nakuru County over examination malpractices.

St Theresa Girls Senior School has consequently been directed to surrender its registration certificate to the ministry with immediate effect.

The decision was communicated to the school by Education Principal Secretary Belio Kipsang, moments after TSC Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia made an impromptu visit to the school during the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.

According to Dr Kipsang, the deregistration takes effect on December 1.

PRINCIPAL GUILTY

Sources at the ministry said the school's principal was found guilty of opening examination materials before time.

It is believed that this was a deliberate attempt to interfere with the examination material and share it with students in advance.

Teachers were also found coaching KCSE candidates at the school last week against the Ministry of Education rules.

The offences are said to have been committed last week between Thursday November 9 and Friday November 10.

Nation also learnt that teachers were also found in the school, which is an examination centre, contrary to a ministry directive that banned their presence during exams hours.

It has also been established that some teachers at the school are not registered with the Teachers Service Commission.

In the letter addressed to the school principal and copied to the Cabinet Secretary for Education Dr Fred Matiang'i and the Nakuru County director of education, Dr Kipsang said the decision was in line with the Basic Education Act, 2013.

SCHOOL CERTIFICATE

"By copy of this letter, you are instructed to hand over the current certificate of your school to the county education board secretary who is also the county director of education, Nakuru, with immediate effect," he stated, further instructing the school principal to inform parents of the school of the ministry's decision.

However, Nation has established that the decision does not affect the 37 candidates sitting this year's KCSE exams as they will be allowed to complete their tests.

The ministry has also indicated that it will work on finding alternative schools for the 115 students in other classes at the school from January 2018.

Earlier, TSC had issued a stern warning to headteachers and supervisors opening examination papers before the stipulated time.

Speaking in Gilgil Town earlier in Monday morning while supervising the distribution of examination materials to exam centres, Ms Macharia said those who would be linked to the criminal offence would be dismissed from service forthwith and prosecuted.

"Firm action will be taken against teachers abetting cheating in the ongoing examinations. The exams must be guarded properly and nobody should be allowed to ruin the lives of candidates," said the TSC boss.

DISMAYED

"I am dismayed that some of our teachers are aiding in examination cheating but TSC will not allow that. Those examination managers found will be interdicted and deregistered from the TSC payroll altogether," the tough-talking TSC boss had warned.

She inspected the opening of an exam container at Gilgil deputy county commissioner's office in the company of Rift Valley Regional Education Officer Mary Gaturu, among other education officials.

Ms Macharia came face to face with teacher drunkenness when a headteacher turned up to collect papers while totally drunk.

DRUNK PRINCIPAL

The principal of Mawaka Secondary School, in drunken stupor, was unapologetic and even engaged the TSC CEO in a verbal exchange.

Mr Christopher Maisiba appeared not worried about the interrogation, occasionally smiling sheepishly.

The teacher was angered when Ms Macharia asked him why he reported to work while under the influence of alcohol.

"Bwana (Mr), how do you manage the examination in your school with this kind of behaviour?" posed Ms Macharia.

Mr Maisiba replied: "I am not drunk as my colleagues are saying. I only woke up late and came hurriedly to pick the exam papers."

The teacher, dressed in a black suit and a striped shirt without a tie, struggled to control the power of alcohol over him, but his spirited attempt to feign normalcy failed and he was arrested on the orders of Nakuru County Commissioner Joshua Nkanatha.

TEACH LESSON

Another examination centre manager was given the tests to deliver to the private school located in the outskirts of Gilgil Town as Ms Macharia vowed to teach the drunk school principal a lesson.

Ms Macharia later visited the school to see how the examinations were being conducted.

The TSC boss was perturbed on seeing the deplorable conditions at the school which has dilapidated classrooms and administration block.

Ms Gaturu also condemned the incident saying that exams must be guarded properly.

She further revealed that start of examinations in Samburu had been delayed due to floods but noted that authorities were doing everything possible to ensure they are safely dispatched to the various affected parts of the county.

Ms Macharia also visited Koelel High School and St Theresa Girls Senior School to inspect the exams.

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