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Ministry Calls for KCSE Exam Integrity as Theory Papers Begin

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Ministry Calls for KCSE Exam Integrity as Theory Papers Begin

The Principal Secretary of Basic Education, Belio Kipsang, has urged everyone participating in the administration of national examinations to maintain their integrity.

On Monday, Belio delivered a speech at the Westland Sub-County Containers, where center managers were selecting papers for the first session.

Concerns regarding the credibility of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations exist as over 900,000 candidates commence their exams today.

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Despite Cabinet Secretary for Education Ezekiel Machogu’s assurances that the government will take additional precautions to protect the integrity of the examinations, there are still worries that dishonest people may have gained access to the papers and started selling them.

Prior to this, Machogu had stated that the government had identified and sealed every exam leakage vulnerability and that any attempt to compromise the exams would result in severe consequences.

ALSO READ: KCSE Double Collection as KNEC CEO Highlights Key Guidelines

The Permanent Secretary (PS) stated that the excessive resources being allocated to safeguard the integrity of our examinations should not be necessary. He expressed the need to foster trust among the Kenyan people and address the prevailing trust deficit, which is detrimental to all. He emphasized that the country cannot continue in this manner.

“We are here at 6 a.m. because we want to police ourselves. It is not right. We should be able to leave our children as children.”

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He admitted that exam center administrators will have a difficult time collecting papers from the containers twice daily as the ministry attempts to prevent early exam exposure.

If the examinations run without a hitch, he said, center administrators will eventually be granted the opportunity to pick their exams in the morning.

“Picking papers twice a day might raise concern. We hope we can reach a point where we’re picking up the papers once the exam period progresses,” the PS said.

He stated that a multi-agency effort was made to prevent early exposure and academic dishonesty during the papers.

ALSO READ: KNEC Contracted Professional 2023; Login, Download Invitation Letter Via cp2.knec.ac.ke

The PS stated that the ministry has collaborated with the Directorate of Criminal Investigations’ Cyber Crime Unit and the Communications Authority of Kenya to prevent exam cheating.

A number of social media platforms have been deactivated by the government, with Kipsang sayng several individuals have been arrested. “I am certain that we will maintain alertness this week for individuals attempting to commit exam malpractices,” he stated.

“One of the people that we arrested had posted Monday’s paper on Tuesday. What is the point of posting Monday’s paper on Tuesday? What we think is that they are trying to build confidence with their clients that they can deliver the papers. But they were delivering a day later.”

According to Belio, the KCPE examinations were executed without significant instances of exam malpractice.

He anticipated a similar performance this week, when KCSE would commence.

There will be 903,260 candidates sitting for the KCSE exam this year.

Chemistry Paper 1 and English Paper 1 will be administered to candidates on the first day of the theory examinations.

ALSO READ: Why KCSE Students May Do Badly – MP Robert Mbui’s Concerns

Candidates will take English Paper 2 and Mathematics Paper 1 on Tuesday.

Candidates will take Chemistry Paper 2 and English Paper 3 on Wednesday, November 8.

The students will be assessed on Kiswahili Lugha Paper 2 and Kiswahili Insha Paper 1 on Thursday, November 9.

The candidates will devote the entire Friday to chemistry practicals.

The practical papers for the examinations began on October 23 and will continue for an entire month, until the end of November.

Ministry Calls for KCSE Exam Integrity as Theory Papers Begin
Ministry Calls for KCSE Exam Integrity as Theory Papers Begin

Ezekiel Machogu stated last week that his ministry would take appropriate action against officers found contravening the rules and regulations. He emphasized that the government would not hesitate to take action against anyone caught cheating in examinations.

Furthermore, he outlined one of the key strategies to be implemented starting in 2023, which involves collecting examination papers twice a day for the KCSE examination. This measure aims to prevent candidates from accessing the examination papers before the designated time.

ALSO READ: KCSE Candidate Dies After 7-Year Battle With Leukemia, Days To Exam

An additional 82 containers, or 567, will be used for examinations compared to the previous year.

In order to prevent disruptions at the commencement of the second exam session, the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) mapped each examination center to the distribution center in closest proximity, subsequent to a series of discussions.

Machogu stated that distance and terrain were taken into account when realigning examination centers within the same sub-county. This policy was pertinent only to sub-counties that had already installed multiple containers.

Following consultation with Sub-County Directors of Education (SCDEs), the affected examination centers were rearranged to accommodate containers that were conveniently accessible, taking into account the distance and characteristics of the roadways.

Machogu affirmed the security of the 2023 assessment and examination materials and urged parents and candidates to refrain from engaging in unethical behavior.

ALSO READ: KCSE Exams Kicks Off Countrywide

Additionally, KNEC CEO David Njengere stated that leaks have never occurred and that no one should be duped into purchasing counterfeit documents.

“The word leakage has been misused in this country. Leakage is very serious. If there is a leakage, that means those certificates cannot be recognized anywhere globally. What we have been experiencing is early exposure; there has never been any leakage. Leakage would mean someone is able to share the paper to be done on Monday, and you can confirm that no one has the papers,” Njengere said last week.

Exam cartels allegedly devised new methods to sell papers, such as secretly transmitting them via Telegram, a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging application, despite these assurances.

The purported examinations that the vendors are disseminating during the night cost between Sh3,000 and Sh7,000, contingent on the buyer’s preference for marking schemes on the papers.

The cartels reportedly carry out their illegal activities using several Telegram accounts, which authorities consider more secure and untraceable, employing coded language.

ALSO READ: TSC Says Only Secondary School Teachers to Administer KCSE Exams

Last week, authorities arrested a Christian Religious Education (CRE) instructor working in Kiambu County, suspecting him of distributing counterfeit examination papers.

Nicholas Ngumbau Kalewa, a teacher at St. Lillian Academy in Gikambura, is accused of creating over ten WhatsApp and Telegram accounts for the sale of these documents.

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) reports that Kalewa charged Sh1,500 for each examination paper or Sh2,000 if it came with its own marking scheme.

Investigators allegedly infiltrated Kalewa’s groups while posing as students in an attempt to purchase examination papers, leading to his arrest.

ALSO READ: Ministry of Education Bans Pre-Exam University Application for KCSE Candidates

Ministry Calls for KCSE Exam Integrity as Theory Papers Begin

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