Education CS, Matiangi, is to vlame for the endless burning of schools
21 July 2016, 16:44
Nairobi - On March 3rd 2016 while announcing the 2015 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) results, Fred Matiangi, the Education Cabinet Secretary, shocked the country by apologizing for the record-breaking increase in exam cheating-related cases. But more crucially, he asserted that such blatant ‘thieving’ won’t happen again.
2015 KCSE results saw the results of a whopping 5,101 students cancelled. More so, there was a 70 per cent rise in the number of cases of irregularities nationwide. In 2014, only 2975 candidates were reported to have engaged in examination irregularities.
A year and so down the line, the Education Cabinet Secretary is doing exactly that: living up to his promise. To tame the runaway culture of examination cheating, on May 18th 2016, Dr. Matinagi announced made public his magic wand.
Above all, and to the consternation of an army of lazy candidates, the ritual visiting days, and mass prayers are going to be a thing of the past. This means that KCSE candidates will have no access to their parents, guardians, friends, or relatives, and thus no access whatsoever to electronic gadgets such as mobile phones (widely blamed for perpetuating exam cheating).
To those students who have been planning for the last three and a half years to cheat, Matiangi’s reforms is undeniably a severe body blow. Without mobile phones, regular contact with the outside world through mass prayers and occasional visiting days, the exam thieving orgy is not going to be a walk in the park. With their hands now tied, the lazy lot have only one way out: make it impossible to have those exams in the very first place. How? By razing down dormitories, and in some isolated cases, flooring down their entire schools!
It is by no coincidence that dozens of secondary schools have so far been torched, and this just a few months away from the KCSE. It is not surprising that despite the nationwide condemnation of such barbaric acts, our TV screens and social media pages are still awash with images of burning dormitories, worried faces of candidates, and shocked parents. And nobody should be shocked is yet another school is crippled by what is fast becoming an extra curriculum activity.
Which way forward? To pin down these armies of lazy students, the Ministry of Education and other stake holders must not relent in their quest of not only curbing the runaway culture of examination theft, but also ensuring, one way or the other, that all 2016 KCSE candidates sit for their examinations. Or better still, Education CS, Dr. Fred Matiangi should reverse his outrageous orders and allow the candidates and their junior peers to enjoy frequent holidays and visiting days, otherwise even more schools will be razed down.
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