Ministry and Knec must address exam cheating

National exams play an important role in the education system.

The current allegations of national exam leakage and cheating are a damning indictment of our education system.

Regrettably, exam cheating and irregularities have become a perennial problem in this country.

Every year, thousands of candidates have their results either withheld or cancelled due to exam malpractices.

Even worse, the Knec Act, which stipulates punishment for the cheaters, has not deterred the vice. Candidates are determined to excel in the exams at all costs.

As a result, many students’ lives have been ruined after they were implicated in exam cheating. To make matters worse, some teachers, Knec officials, and police officers are involved in this scam.

Teachers want their schools to be centres of academic excellence. Knec officials and police officers have made the exams their cash cow, thus compromising their integrity.

Rote teaching and learning have become the norm and schools are exam and mean score oriented.

This depicts a gloomy picture of our education system. There is an urgent need for radical reforms to remove the current obsession with exam cheating.

If this is not done soon, this country will continue to churn out half-baked graduates. The time to walk the talk is now.

JOSEPH G. MUTHAMA, Thika

The extent of the leakage in the ongoing Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations is an indictment of our education and the depths to which it has fallen.

The situation is not helped by the casual manner in which the Cabinet secretary for Education has responded to the crisis.

Despite calls that the exams be cancelled and fresh ones administered, the government seems only interested in projecting a chest-thumping, can’t cancel, won’t cancel attitude.

The credibility of the KCSE exams of 2015 is lost. As a result of the government’s refusal to rectify the situation, candidates who had no access to the papers on sale will be subjected to unfair competition.

In essence, those who had access to the leaked papers will be awarded unfair grades that will enable them to get unfair placement in degree courses at universities.

This will eventually affect the type of manpower the country has. This will no doubt exacerbate the problem of half-baked graduates who lack critical skills for the job market.

To ensure fairness and preserve the integrity of the examinations, the government should have cancelled the KCSE exams of 2015.

It should order a thorough forensic investigation of the security system surrounding the safety of exam papers and ensure that the culprits are brought to book.

SOURCE: DAILY NATION