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Media urged to stop reporting negatively about national examinations

State Department for University Education and Research Principal Secretary Amb Simon Nabukwesi has asked the media to stop reporting negatively on the ongoing KCSE national examinations.

While terming the integrity of the examination as perfect, he said that the few reported cases of cheating that have marred the exercise, should not be used to taint the whole examination process.

He said that in a majority of the centres, the exams went on smoothly and challenged the press to be more objective in their reporting.

“When there is a drop of dirty water in the ocean, it does not mean that the whole ocean is dirty. Water still remains clean. The integrity of the examination is perfect,” said Amb Nabukwesi.

“Whatever is projected by the media is what the world will capture, so when reports come out that exams have been leaked, the world automatically puts our education certificates in a position where anyone in the world can challenge the education system and also it puts us in a position where we can be avoided, especially when people want to study in good universities out there,” he added.

The PS who spoke after supervising the opening and distribution of the KCSE examination papers at the Nyeri Central Deputy County Commissioners office on Thursday, also commended the education and security officials for their transparency.

So far, Nyeri has not recorded any case of exam malpractice.

The PS at the same time asked education and security officials invigilating the ongoing examinations to ensure that they continue adhering to the set invigilation guidelines, adding that the candidates were looking up to them for direction.

He also castigated the officers who had failed the integrity test by aiding students to cheat.

“I personally believe that any officer who assists the students to cheat was also assisted to cheat. If you were not assisted to cheat you cannot participate in this idea of quick fixes so that the student comes out with As and feels proud when it is all fake and earned dishonestly. Let us teach these children to value the principles of sowing and reaping so that they get it right and we shall protect the integrity of the exam,” said Nabukwesi.

The KCSE 2021 entered day nine on Thursday where the candidates will be writing the Christian/Islamic/Hindu Religious Education Paper two in the morning and History and Government Paper 2 in the afternoon.

About 20,316 candidates are sitting their KCSE examinations in 223 examination centres in Nyeri.

Among them are four inmates serving jail sentences at the King’ong’o maximum prison. The last exam is slated for Friday, April 1.

His sentiments come at a time when several students, teachers, supervisors and centre managers were arrested for abetting exam irregularities during the first week of KCSE exams.

There were cases of students found with mobile phones in the exam centres, cases of university students arrested for impersonation and an incident where three people, two teachers and a lab technician were arrested for aiding cheating of the KCSE exams in Kericho. The three were found in possession of mobile phones containing the 2021 Chemistry practical paper.

On the issue of the transition of students to university, the PS intimated that the next university placement is slated for June this year.

He said that the Kenya University Central Placement Service has already made revision to its list of requirements to make it easier for qualified students to be allocated slots in the universities.

Amb Nabukwesi also noted that the Higher Education Loans Board had expressed its commitment in supporting needy students through education loans.

“I have been telling the candidates that we are waiting to receive them in June to join university and start pursuing their degree courses. The government has been so fair in terms of making university education accessible to everybody because fees at the university is Sh16, 000, far much cheaper than it is in secondary schools. HELB is also ready to support those who may not have the capacity to pay their university fees so we are ready for them,” said Amb Nabukwesi.

By Ann Ngure and Wangari Mwangi



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