GACHURI’S PUNCHLINE: Tips on how to catch the real cheaters of national exams

GACHURI’S PUNCHLINE: Tips on how to catch the real cheaters of national exams

  • Now, during every examination period, one subject of discussion is the cheating menace.
  • This is often coupled with cases of examination leakages. But often, it is the candidates that suffer, with their results withheld or cancelled altogether.
  • But I want to pose a question; who are the real examination cheaters? I dare say, it is not the candidates. 

It is the season of national examinations yet again. From the onset, let me take this opportunity to wish the class of 2022 in Grade 6, Class 8 and Form 4 the very best. And let me borrow from the Parliamentary practice, where one is required to disclose their interest in any matter that is the subject of discussion. My daughter, Sandra, is a candidate in this year’s Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE). Like any other parent, I believe our children are well prepared for the national examinations. Let us allow them to do it in an environment of peace, tranquility and confidence without interference. And for the candidates in drought-ravaged counties and parts of the country that have been hit by sporadic insecurity incidents, I remind the government; national and county, as well as all stakeholders to do their best, in ensuring that these candidates have an opportunity to shape their future.

Now, during every examination period, one subject of discussion is the cheating menace. This is often coupled with cases of examination leakages. But often, it is the candidates that suffer, with their results withheld or cancelled altogether. But I want to pose a question; who are the real examination cheaters? I dare say, it is not the candidates. Leakages are, in my opinion, an expensive affair. I am convinced that candidates, with their little pocket money, cannot afford to finance the costly examinations cheating racket. It is a cartel thing.

So the real cheaters, in my opinion, are parents, rogue school heads, conniving teachers and money-hungry examinations council staff, who manage the examination centres and premises where papers are stored.

So, what would it benefit you as a parent, to use money to help your son or daughter acquire marks that truly do not belong to them? What seed are you planting in that child? And what moral authority would such a parent have, in condemning corruption in government? What is there to gain, for a school head, who colludes with other criminals to leak examination papers to aid candidates in acquiring marks that do not belong to them? So, as the education ministry and the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) keeps an eye on students using shortcuts to get grades and marks that they don’t deserve, I challenge the relevant institutions to focus on the real cheaters!

Here is my point, let us allow our children handle the challenge ahead on their own, and whichever grades they achieve will be the fruits of their labour and a fair wage for their 6 years, 8 years or 12 years in the academic journey. If we do not, then we will be planting a seed of shortcuts, corruption and greed that will eventually consume our children when they are of age, and by extension, our nation.

And while at it, let us embrace those who will score high marks in the national examinations as well as those whose stars will not shine as bright. Every child deserves an opportunity and one examination should not be a determinant of their success in life or otherwise.

And as I pen off, a consistent spectacle in national examinations is the huge show of security officers escorting the papers. Well, security is key, but it should not end up scaring the candidates or making them anxious. The ultimate focus, in my opinion, should be around the strong rooms where examination papers are stored. That is where leakage occurs, especially when such papers are released earlier than the stipulated time and exposed hours before the candidates write their examinations.

KNEC has issued guidelines on this, with clear instructions for issuance of KCPE and the Grade Six Kenya Primary School Assessment (KPSEA) examinations will be issued from the containers at 6am and exams to kick off at 8:25am. The KCSE examination papers will be issued at 7am and start at 8am. The Teachers Service Commission (TSC), through its CEO Nancy Macharia, further directed that a ratio of one invigilator for every 20 students, and one supervisor for every 200 candidates is adhered to.

So let me once wish our children the very best and god's blessings. To the adults, other than the invigilators and supervisors, let us keep off the exam rooms and allow our candidates wapambane na hali yao!

That is my punchline!

Tags:

KCSE KCPE TSC KPSEA National exams Cheating

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