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Parents to blame for KCSE cheating?

21 October 2014, 15:08 Victor Tinto

Nairobi - The Kenya National Examinations Council KNEC says that the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education KCSE exams have thus far kicked off to no major problems, even though the most teething of problems; cheating, remains.

The exams kicked off Tuesday morning all over the country in what the body says is being held in close to 81,000 centres in the country, with over 400,000 students taking part in the examinations.

The recurring theme though, in as far as national exams go, is cheating and KNEC has again been categorical that those found cheating will be punished.

However, analysts feel that the problem of cheating will not end as long as parents are involved in it.

Joshua Githeka, a Nairobi based education expert says that there is no way cheating will be curbed as long as it is initiated by parents.

" The major problem with cheating as a vice in national exams is that it is initiated by parents and that is why it is so difficult to kill, " he says.

He insists that parents collude with teachers to ensure that their children do well, a complex problem in itself for the authorities to deal with.

" It is easy to handle those spreading leakage from outside, but as long as it is from within, it will be difficult to stop," he opined.

KNEC CEO Joseph Kivilu admitted last week that cheating was still a major concern for the examiner and that the body would pull in as much effort to curb it.

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" It is a concern and that is why we have come up with a range of punishments that we feel will reduce cases of cheating," he said.

Already last week, five people were arrested for handling fake exam material and Kivilu says he expects police to deal with the matter conclusively.

" Stopping cheating will not be an easy job but we can start from somewhere," he adds.

Jail terms for as much as two years and fines of as much as KES 2 million will be used to try stop the vice but according to Githika, the stakes are high.

" The stakes are high for schools, parents and students and so they will risk cheating to do well in exams. That is the problem. It is worth the risk and that will not change, ".

Kivilu and KNEC will surely hope to hear reduced cases of cheating.

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