8 August 2018

Kenya: Amina Mohamed Sounds Alarm On Students Changing Results

Photo: Jeff Angote/The Nation
Education Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.

There is a new form of exam cheating in town, this time not by schools seeking to shine in the eyes of Kenyans.

The fraud, hatched by poor-performing students and executed in cyber cafes with the help of techies, targets gullible and unsuspecting parents.

EDITED

This is how it goes: A student who scores a poor grade goes into the cyber, gets the report card scanned then edited in a vector graphics-editing software such as CorelDRAW.

With such a software, one is able to change scores without interfering with key credibility features such as school rubber stamps and teachers’ signatures.

From a dim D- (minus) awarded by teachers, one 'clever' fool can easily go home with a shining B+ (plus), thanks to technology.

The goal? To look good in the eyes of parents and deceive them into believing that their investments are worthwhile.

Education CS Amina Mohamed on Wednesday blew the lid off the fraud after the ministry established that some students had altered their second term grades.

Many such cases, she said, have been reported to field officers in counties.

Ms Mohamed now wants parents to confirm their children’s marks with teachers.

She said she regretted that students in secondary schools are determined to cheat “at all costs”.

"We must discourage this practice at all cost," Ms Mohamed said at the Kenyan Institute of Curriculum Development (KICD) in Nairobi.

NEW POLICY

She advised students to be proud of the marks they score in schools and work hard improve their grades.

“We do not want a scenario where a student scores ‘A’ but perform poorly at higher level than those who score a ‘B’,” she told a stakeholders’ workshop to sensitise universities and technical and vocational training institutes on new qualification framework policy.

The CS said the government will step up crackdown on fraudsters with fake academic certificates by setting up a database of all graduates in the country.

Already, the government has announced tough measures to deal with exam cheats this year.

This year, the focus will shift on how to stop students from using mobile phone to access exam materials.

The ministry is also keen to rein in collusion, which involves candidates producing identical responses in tests.

In most cases, the national exams council says, they are assisted by teachers to do so.

The government has also teamed up with National Intelligence Service, the Teachers Service Commission , and the Ministry of ICT to stop cheats.

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