Education Cabinet Secretary (CS) Prof. George Magoha has dismissed claims of Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) leakage citing watertight security standards put in place.
Prof. Magoha speaking in Kisumu Monday said the integrity and sanctity of the examination papers were maintained to the standards set six years ago when the now Interior CS Dr. Fred Matiang’i was in-charge of the education sector.
“The government using the multi-agency system was able to contain the sanctity of the examinations that we have had in the last six years,” stated the Education CS.
Prof. Magoha added that it was not possible to breach the security of the exam papers carelessly and anyhow bearing in mind the kind of security features the exam papers have.
“This morning, I allowed members of the media to open the secured boxes which have seven layers of security. The eighth layer is top secret since it is within the examination paper itself and it is where if you breach the integrity of the exam we can be able to see,” said Prof. Magoha.
The CS however acknowledged that there were early exam exposures done with the aid of rogue center managers and security personnel.
He said they would not be given room to destroy the future of the candidates promising that stern legal actions would be taken upon lawbreakers.
“Now that we have released exam papers to close to 10,000 principals, one of them will connive with the security persons and photograph that paper and put on the internet. That is not leakage,” stated Prof. Magoha.
“A leakage in a paper means having the paper way ahead like it used to happen years before. My own assurance as the one in charge of the education sector in this country is that the examinations have not leaked. Those who have chosen to play hanky-panky business and we catch them, do not support them. Every child in this country must have equal opportunities to take examinations under the same conditions,” reiterated the CS.
Reacting to the reports by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations exams leakage in the country, Prof. Magoha said he was the only one authorised to speak on matters exams as the head of the sector.
“I urge the media to listen to me and nobody else. We shall not allow any political narrative into the examination process,” warned Prof Magoha.
However, he said that official statements that involve KCSE exams would only emanate from his office or the chairperson of the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC).
In a bid to tame the exposure of examination papers, Prof. Magoha said that all examination centres should not have cell phones save for two; one owned by the center managers and the security of the examination centre terming the cell phone menace as the enemy of examinations for the candidates.
“We do not need cellphones in examination centers except two for emergency purposes, one with the center manager and another with one of the security personnel. All other people will have their phones left at home, they do not need them,” said the CS.
Regarding the marking of the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education, the CS assured the country in a press briefing that the process was going on well and that exams results were due to be released soon. These, he said, were efforts to have the termination of exam results done away with and bar the cartels from changing what candidates had scored.
“We are doing extremely well. We are about to complete the Composition and Insha and we should be able to give you results either later this week or early next week,” said Prof. Magoha.
The CS added that those involved in the exam malpractice were people who did not value their children and they are killing the bright future of this country.
Prof. Magoha together with Principal Secretary (PS), State Department for University Education and Research Amb. Simon Nabukwesi were in Kisumu County to oversee the distribution of KCSE examination papers at different examination centres.
PS Nabukwesi echoed the CS sentiments that the ongoing KCSE examinations were progressing well nationwide with no major challenges recorded so far, as the exercise enters its second week.
Nabukwesi hailed school Principals, Education Directors and security personnel manning the exams for their concerted efforts to enhance the credibility of the exams both locally and internationally.
He was speaking at Kisumu East Deputy County Commissioner’s office where he oversaw the distribution of KCSE exam papers on Monday.
He said the good coordination of the team in charge of the exams in the Sub County has guaranteed the process runs within the set parameters and guidelines.
“Let us demonstrate to the candidates that we also passed our exams by not fostering an examinations stealing culture,” Nabukwesi said as he cautioned teachers who may be hell-bent on assisting candidates to cheat in exams.
“Anybody who assists students to commit exam malpractices was also helped to steal exams during his/her time,” said the PS.
Further, he urged the principals to maintain the resolve in upholding the integrity of administering the examination up to the end and not to be swayed by the rumours about exam leakages in the country and be tempted to fall prey to the offense.