By: MALEMBA MKONGO
Twelve teachers from the Star of the Sea Primary School were yesterday charged with being in possession of unauthorised examination material.
The teachers, who were invigilating the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education exam, were arrested on Tuesday.
They were allegedly found with the mathematics and English exam Material on the WhatsApp mobile platform.
The teachers’ phones will be forwarded to the cyber crime unit for analysis.
The accused Zillah Wacharo, Edda Wakio, Margaret Nyamvula, Agatha Wafula, Newton Mwalamisi, Mary Evereso, Beth Wangui, Pili Omar, Janet Maro, Asli Ibrahim, Edith Mutambi and Beatrice Busaka pleaded not guilty.
State counsel Eugene Wangila told principal magistrate Diana Mochache that although he was not opposed to releasing the accused on bail, the court had to consider the seriousness of the offence.
He said the offence attracts a 10-year jail term or a fine of Sh10 million.
Wangila urged the court to impose harsh bond terms “to send a strong message to other culprits”.
He said the government has put tough measures to curb corruption in schools and exam leakage should be considered as a form of the vice and dealt with accordingly.
“Teachers are supposed to be role models yet they have turned around and become the people misleading children,” Wangila said.
He told the court it is unfair for some students to struggle to attain good grades while others get them on a “silver platter”.
Defence counsel Francis Kadima urged the court to dismiss the submissions by the prosecution as the accused are yet to be proven guilty.
“The prosecution has already condemned them without proving they are guilty,” he said.
Kadima said the office of the DPP should focus on charging “the real thieves” whom he said are Kenya National Examination Council officials.
Mochache ordered the teachers’ release upon payment of a surety bond of Sh500,000 or cash bail of Sh200,000 each.
The hearing is set for December 14.