KNEC CEO Says There Has Never Been Leakage, Even as Exam Cartels Change Tact
KNEC Chief Executive David Njengere has maintained that there has never been leakages and that no one should be misled into buying fake papers.
“The word leakage has been misused in this country. Leakage is very serious. If there is a leakage, that means those certificates cannot be recognised 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.
But despite the assurances, exam cartels are said to have devised new tactics to sell papers, including sneaking them via telegram, a cloud-based mobile and desktop messaging App.
The alleged tests which the sellers are distributing at night are going for between Sh3,000 and Sh7,000 depending on whether the buyer wants the papers accompanied by marking schemes or not.
The cartels, using coded language, are allegedly using different telegram accounts which are deemed safer and untraceable by authorities to conduct the illegal business.
“Single paper is Sh3,000. So far, only two chemistry papers have been sent. It’s certain that they will be the exact leakage. We will confirm before Monday night and then we will announce the paper to focus on,” a coded message on a Telegram forum identified as KNEC exam leakages reads.
Some teachers, who sought anonymity over fears of being victimised, claimed that some of the most leaked papers are science subject practicals, some of which will be done close to the last day of the national exams.
For instance, the chemistry practical paper that will, according to the timetable, be done on November 10, 2023 is alleged to have been leaked.
Teachers’ privy to the information said the leaked paper is similar to the one that was dispatched to lab technicians and chemistry teachers to facilitate the purchase of apparatus and chemicals.
“The leaked paper is similar to the one that schools are using to prepare for chemistry practical tests and how it got to the public is baffling. A lot needs to be done to restore the credibility required in national exams,” a teacher confirmed in a popular daily.
Other papers, some with marking schemes, are reportedly released at night, few hours to the exam.
Last week, a Christian Religious Education (CRE) teacher who works in Kiambu County was arrested for reportedly selling fake exam papers.
Nicholas Ngumbau Kalewa, a teacher at St. Lillian Academy in Gikambura, is alleged to have opened over 10 WhatsApp and Telegram accounts where he was selling the papers.
According to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), Kalewa was selling each examination paper at Sh1,500 or Sh2,000 if it comes complete with its marking scheme.
Kalewa was arrested after the investigators reportedly infiltrated his groups posing as students seeking to purchase the examination papers.
“Several SIM cards believed to be used in the fraud were also found in his possession,” the agency further added.
Cases of national exam malpractices, especially in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) are reported almost every year, a situation that has continued to taint the credibility of exams and certificates offered by KNEC.
According to the experts, the security of the examinations starts from setting and administering all the way to marking, with proposals that practising teachers should be exempted from the process due to conflict of interest.