Worst KCSE national exam leakage in history

Worst national exam leakage in history? Alarm as corrupt exam officials turn KCSE into a joke.

It has been described as the worst national examination leak since independence and embarrassed senior Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) officials who are left scratching their heads in an attempt to unmask those behind the syndicate.

So bad is the unprecedented leakage that the once nail-biting Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams have been turned into a mock exercise, a mere revision, and a goldmine for unscrupulous officials of the national exam council.

Investigations by The Nairobian reveal that some rogue KNEC officials make millions of shillings every year by leaking genuine examination papers to brokers, who in turn sell them to students, parents and even teachers.

So casual is the ‘business’ that one could as well be buying tomatoes. One official promised to deliver the examination from KNEC headquarters in Nairobi at a fee of Sh20,000.

“I receive seven papers from seven different sources every morning to be certain that it is the real examination. Now, I am no longer paying anything to get the examination papers. Some are only asking for airtime in return,” a teacher at a secondary school told The Nairobian.

In what plays out like a Mafia syndicate, the brokers pocket as much as Sh20,000 per page leaked.

Once in the open, the papers most of which are redistributed by other parties, have ended up in the hands of students at the last end of the chain, sometimes going for a song, with students paying as little as Sh50 in airtime to access the entire paper.

The Nairobian learnt that some students had access to almost every paper from as early as three days before the actual examination day.

But as the examination heads into the homestretch, education officials continue to bury their heads in the sand.

Attempts by the Kenya National Union of Teachers (KNUT), through its Secretary General Wilson Sossion to have the examinations cancelled and rescheduled to a later date, bore no fruit.

The police, the Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi and KNEC have all denied allegations that examination papers are being leaked.

Kaimenyi said that he is not aware of any examination irregularities and challenged those with evidence of leakage to table it to back the allegations.

But even as those concerned deny claims of leakage, close to 60 people have been arrested in relation to the 2015 KCSE examination leakage.

On October 16, police in Nyamira arrested a university student who was reportedly found with numerous copies of what were confirmed to be copies of the ongoing KCSE examinations.

According to the Kenya National Examinations Council Bill, those caught aiding cheating in KCPE (Kenya Certificate of Primary Education and KCSE examinations face a Sh1 million fine or five years in jail.

Previously, those caught leaking answers or papers to students before an examination were liable to a Sh5,000 fine or six months in jail.

As investigations into the
historical examinations malpractice continue, some people blame the mess on disgruntled teachers.

We sought to find out if indeed some teachers may have presided over the cheating of examination in an attempt to teach the government an unforgettable lesson for withholding their September salaries.

A teacher from a secondary school in Nakuru told The Nairobian that they were not happy with the government after they were sent to class without their September salaries.

“I know very well that papers leak, and my students may have these papers,” he said. He added that: “Sometimes a student comes to you with a question, only to see the same in the exam paper. In any case, the big schools and rich students probably have their teachers revising these things. So, when my student asks a question, I will answer comprehensively,” said the mathematics and physics teacher.

“I can tell you teachers do not care. They are indifferent,” a teacher in one of the schools in Nairobi said.

Another teacher, a Physics Paper Two examiner, said that from discussions with a few other teachers who participate in national exam marking, the widespread cheating may go ‘undetected’.

“Unless KNEC have a plan to get other markers from abroad, my colleagues are not taking this seriously. The general mood is that our efforts as teachers are now considered as a by-the-way,” he said.

A few people have blamed the rising cases of cheating on the high standards set and the way some schools reward their teachers and learners.

Some schools reward teachers depending on how well students perform in their subjects. Some schools pay teachers Sh1,000 for every A grade and Sh500 for every A- grade.

Other schools treat their teachers to trips to the Coast, while some schools reward their top students with cars.

Monday 9th November 2015 - http://www.sde.co.ke/thenairobian/article/2000182065/worst-national-exam-leakage-in-history-alarm-as-corrupt-exam-officials-turn-kcse-into-a-joke?pageNo=1

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