The Education Cabinet Secretary (CS), Prof. George Magoha has raised an alarm over a cheating scheme in Nyanza region as the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations kick off.
Prof. Magoha said investigations have unearthed a racket involving parents, teachers and other officials to steal the examinations.
The CS said parents in the affected examination centres have contributed money, which they plan to pay supervisors, invigilators and security personnel to facilitate cheating.
“We have information that they plan to bribe supervisors with Sh.120, 000, invigilators Sh.60, 000 and security officers Sh.40, 000 at the affected centres,” he said.
Prof. Magoha who declined to name the affected centres for security reasons and in the interest of the students said measures have been put in place to counter the plans.
Speaking in Kisumu on Monday where he opened the examinations container, the CS said security has been beefed up in the area and warned that stern action will be taken against those involved in the vice.
The CS disclosed that the elaborate scheme has sucked in homes adjacent to schools where the masterminds plan to peruse the papers before handing over answers to the students.
“We have just opened the examinations containers. Ideally they have just about an hour to go through the papers and they are not smart enough to get the answers right but this is what they plan to feed our children to justify the money they have received,” he said.
Magoha cautioned students against the fraud, saying that they will have themselves to blame.
“You will not get your results so don’t cry and say you were not warned,” he said.
He termed the scheme as a shame to the country given the efforts put in place by the government to deliver credible examinations.
Last month, the ministry identified Kisumu, Kisii, Homa Bay and Migori as examination cheating hot spots. Twelve other counties were also flagged for closer supervision.
The CS said measures have been put in place to ensure that the examinations are conducted smoothly across the country.
Helicopters, he said were on standby to deliver examination materials in Turkana, Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Moyale, Tana River, Kajiado and other parts of the country likely to be affected by floods.
Meanwhile, the number of male candidates in Mandera has doubled that of female in the 2019 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE).
The Mandera County Director of Education, Abdihamid Maalim, while opening an examination container in Mandera East Sub County said over 2,800 male candidates are siting for this year KCSE against 1,300 females.
Maalim said unlike in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) the exercise is running smoothly and all the 62 examination centres will receive the test materials on time.
During the just concluded KCPE examination, some four centres in Mandera West Sub County received the examination materials late during the first day due to inaccessible roads.
The examination materials were airlifted to the centres by a standby chopper that was serving the Northeastern region.
The heavy downpour has subsided and transport has resumed normally.
Maalim noted security has been beefed up mostly in schools along the border with Somalia to prevent disruption of the exercise by the Al Shabaab.
Schools in Lafey and Mandera East Sub County have been given extra security.
The Mandera County Commissioner, Onesmus Kyatha said the government is in control and candidates should do the examination without fear.
At the same time, the Busia County Commissioner (CC), Jacob Narengo has urged supervisors and centre managers to ensure that this year’s Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examinations are carried out in a conducive environment.
Speaking to the officials before opening the examination container in Busia, Narengo said that no official should be found in possession of mobile phones while at the centre.
“All mobile phones must be kept aside during the examination,” he said warning that those found in the contrary will face the law.
The CC urged parents to be keen on the whereabouts of their children during these holidays and ensure their safety.
“Parents should not leave their children to experiment all sorts of things that can destroy their future,” Narengo said, adding that it is the plan of the government to see that all KCPE candidates transit to secondary schools next year.
The County has a total of 12944 KCSE candidates who will sit for the examination in 159 centres.
And in Taita Taveta county, a Form Four candidate from one of the public schools in Voi sub-county is sitting his Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination (KCSE) from Moi County Referral Hospital where he was admitted to on Sunday night after falling ill.
Speaking to KNA, the County Director of Education, Samson Wanjohi confirmed that the candidate was in stable condition but was sitting his examinations from the hospital bed in the meantime until he gets discharged.
“He is in stable condition and we hope he will recover. The doctors are monitoring his condition,” he said.
It is not clear what ailment the candidate is suffering from.
Wanjohi however, said that the national examination kicked off smoothly in all other schools in the county.
He added that the slight lure in the rains had allowed significant improvement in many roads which ensured invigilators and supervisors got access to schools on time.
The county has a total of 5,026 candidates sitting for KCSE in 2019. Out of this total, 4,766 will sit for the exam from 80 public secondary schools. The rest are from nine private schools and four centres for adult learners.
By KNA Team