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MPs unanimously demand replacement of KNEC over exam leakages

09 March 2016, 08:12 Samuel Kisika

Nairobi - MPs in the National Assembly Education committee have unanimously called for the replacement of the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) following increased cases of exam leakages in the country.

The Education committee chaired by Sabina Chege (Murang'a County) said KNEC needs to be disbanded because it has lost its credibility to protect and manage national examinations.
The angered members criticized KNEC officials who appeared before the committee to respond to inquiries over massive exam cheating and cancellation of results of over 5 000 form four candidates in 2015. The legislators said the body should not be given additional time as it had proved that it cannot stop examination malpractices.

Parliament also approved probe into the cancellation of the Kenya Certificate for Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results of over 5000 candidates.

“When it was apparent that the electoral commission had bungled the 2007 polls to the extent that it could not tell us who had won the presidential race, we had the remedy of disbanding it. There is no use waiting to have another disaster in next year’s examination while we shy away from disbanding KNEC,” argued Muthomi Njuki (Chuka Igambang’ombe).

Read Also: List of exam centres where KCSE results were cancelled

The MPs said culprits found to have aided cheating must be punished.

“The Ministry of Education must be extremely merciless on those promoting cheating. School heads, invigilators, administrators and officials found to have assisted in messing the future of these children must be made to pay, and pay dearly for this crime,” said Asman Kamama (Tiaty).

Speaker Justin Muturi committed the petition by Kiminini MP Chris Wamalwa to the Education Committee and directed it to give a report to the House within 60 days.

Wamalwa's petition sought the Education committee to probe into the criteria employed by KNEC to cancel the results of the 5 101 candidates and find out measures being taken against KNEC officials who leaked the examination, since the same is always under the body’s custody.

But MPs said the matter requires deep interrogation to arrest the rising cases of examination cheating, even as they turned the heat on KNEC for punishing the candidates and letting other parties involved to go scot-free.

“This body cannot be entrusted to maintain the integrity of our national examination. This body has gone out punishing the candidates and yet it is letting those responsible go scot-free. The departmental committee must also look into the role of the Council in all this mess; it must suffer the consequences,” said James Nyikal (Seme).

Read Also: Only one County did not cheat in the 2015 KCSE exams

John Mbadi (Suba) said no reforms could salvage the state of KNEC, saying it had proved that it cannot cope with cases of examination cheating under their watch.

“This body has become complacent and unable to keep tabs with technology development. The examination was distributed through social media and when the issues were raised KNEC chiefs insisted that what was in the media was not the genuine examination,” said Mbadi.

The legislators added that even from the distribution curve of results announced, it was obvious that the number of those who cheated in the examination was more than those whose results were cancelled.

Silverse Anami (Shinyalu), a former employee at the examination body, said the sterling performances posted by some schools should have been an indicator that more students were involved in cheating.

He said it was not normal for any school to post such performances where majority of candidates scores A and A (minus).

“Having worked at KNEC, I can obviously tell you that these were hoax results. A school with 250 candidates cannot have over 100 of them scoring A, and equal number getting A (minus) and the last group with B (plus). This should have been an indicator that such a school cheated or had the examination papers earlier,” argued Anami.

Sabina Chege concurred saying the distribution curve of the results was abnormal.

Chege promised to ensure the report of the committee is tabled in the house within then 60 days.

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