Proposal to Fine ksh. 5M to Those Leaking Exams in social media
You will now pay Sh5 million fine if found sharing national exams on any social media platform.
The Ministry of Education together with the Kenya National Examination Council is in the process of reviewing policies that deal with exam malpractices.
Education CS Ezekiel Machogu decried what he termed as policies that have been overrun by technology.
The team of education stakeholders appeared before the National Assembly Committee on Education and Research.
They were responding to questions surrounding allegations of rampant cheating during the 2022 KCSE exams.
“Knec is in the process of reviewing KNEC Act to update it to current innovations and to strengthen penalties of cheating and malpractice,” Machogu said.
This is even as the stakeholders maintained their stand that there was no cheating in the exams.
Knec CEO David Njengere said more techniques have evolved over the years which have been adapted to aid in cheating.
He said during the exams, culprits found were arrested and the cases forwarded to the Directorate of Criminal Investigation.
This is currently done through Whatsapp, Facebook and Telegram to share fake papers and potentially early exposure to exams.
“We had almost 14 mobile phones confiscated and we forwarded the case to the relevant authorities,” Njengere said.
The new proposal to deal with cheating practices perpetrated on social media would include penalties for those found guilty of using technology to cheat.
“A person who before or during an examination negligently or willfully assists or causes any examination paper material or information or any part thereof to be shared on any digital platform, commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, a fine not exceeding five million shillings or both,” the proposal reads.
Machogu said the existing policy only provides for penalties for possession of unauthorised exam material and sharing with a candidate.
“The new offence as proposed would enable Knec to engage with security agencies and to hold to account those that share or sell fake papers,” he said.
The committee chairperson Julius Melly said as part of the cheating probe, schools will be required to produce mock results.
This, he said, would help in tracking how the students performed in internal exams just before sitting the KCSE exam.
“We want to know what happened to specific cases where schools witnessed positive deviations of more than three,” Melly said.
Lugari MP Nabii Nabwera said the entry behaviour of students in secondary schools should also be monitored.
“We have situations where average day schools where the entry is around 249 marks had a deviation of more than three,” he said.
Marakwet West MP Timothy Torotich said the 2022 KCSE exam results showed an unnatural curve.
“If we have a very abnormal curve then we need to find out what happened. But we will also need to know if schools maintain such kind of performance,” Torotich said.
Luanda MP Dick Maungu said there are examination loopholes that need to be addressed.
He said the holes range from setting exams, administration, and writing marking schemes to the marking process.
“If we have a student who duplicated a marking scheme then it means something was not done correctly in that process,” Maungu said.
Revelations made before the education committee in March proved that indeed there were instances of exam cheating in the 2022 KCSE exams.
Several members of the public including unions, education directors, supervisors and parents admitted to the same.
The members questioned why despite reporting the cases, the affected students still received their results.
Regional head of examinations in Nairobi Gladys Malonza told MPs that on week one of the KCSE exam, a teacher was found in possession of tests on his phone.
“A teacher was arrested sneaking answers for the mid-morning paper having been sent by the school director,” Malonza said.
Upon investigation by the DCI, the teacher was found in possession of undone exam papers for the remaining weeks.
Further, a school in Langata constituency also had a cheating case that involved mobile phones.
“During a computer exam, eight out of the nine students had phones during the theory paper,” she said.
In March, MPs concluded the countrywide probe into alleged exam malpractice in the 2022 KCSE exams.