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Tougher rules for exam cheats


Date Posted: 11/12/2012 1:49:19 AM

Posted By: fly1234  Membership Level: Bronze  Total Points: 15

A 'mwakenya' or mwaks is a small paper containing prepared notes to be used secretly during examination session. Today, there is a communal thing in campus called 'degree ni harambee' where students copy from each other and sometimes they even borrow the mwakenyas from fellow students to copy from. Students are not threatened by the dire consequences they might face once they are caught. It is just never in their minds that they could be discontinued.

Technology today has fueled the vice, with smartphones easily accessible, answers are always a Google away. All these factors have undermined efforts of the examiner to curb cheating. In the past, there haven’t been clearly defined laws to deal with this menace, until President Kibaki signed into law the Kenya National Examination Council (Knec) Bill 2012, which provides for tough penalties for examination cheats.

This time, the rules are tougher than ever. Section 27 (1) of the new Act spells out clearly that unauthorized possession of examination paper, material or information attracts imprisonment of a term not exceeding 10 years, a fine of 2 million shillings, or both. A young man-Otieno, a student in Homa Bay county, was arraigned in court the other day after being caught with Geography paper 1 questions.

The student claimed his geography teacher had leaked the question to him before examination. An application was immediately granted by Inspector Peter Omare, to arrest and charge the teacher mentioned. He is convicted under Section 27 (3) of the Knec Act, which spells out that anyone found helping a student to cheat in exams will be jailed for a period not exceeding 10 years, or slapped with a fine of not exceeding 2 million or both.

It is sad because in spite of these stringent measures, exam cheats will not relent. A

high school teacher in Garissa was sent home on a compulsory leave after he failed to answer questions pertaining to his involvement in exam irregularity. Barely a week after that incident, another teacher was arrested in Malindi having collected over Ksh 128,000 shillings from candidates, meant for buying exam leakage.

However, the Secretary general Paul Wasanga said he had sent enough information to schools, to tell them about the new laws. He went ahead to say that anyone caught will carry his own cross.

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