Keep cheats out of exams

The country is gearing up for three national examinations that will shape the destiny of millions of learners. These are the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE), the Grade Six test and Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams.

More than 3.5 million candidates will take the tests.

It is important that the exams are properly managed to bring out the true strengths and weaknesses of the candidates for the next phases of their lives.

The exams will run from November 28 to December 23. A Kenya National Examinations Council timetable indicates that the KCPE exam will be done from November 23 to 30. The results are expected by about January 23.

The Grade 6 exam presents a challenge, being the first under the new Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC). However, education officials and teachers must ensure that no child is disadvantaged.

This is the first set of national examinations under the Kenya Kwanza Alliance administration. The new government must ensure that the momentum set by the previous administration in fighting exam cheating is not lost.

It was during the tenures of Dr Fred Matiang’i and Prof George Magoha, as Education Cabinet Secretaries, that a campaign to stamp out exam cheating was waged and won.

CS Ezekiel Machogu, who recently succeeded Prof Magoha, should maintain the same spirit. He has challenged education officials to remain vigilant to prevent irregularities.

The credibility of examinations is vital, as it ensures that the candidates get what they deserve and go into the next level of training. The integrity of exams also confirms the authenticity of the academic certificates and the competence of the holders in their future professions.

Stamping out exam cheating will inculcate honesty in the children by sending a strong signal about the rejection of shortcuts and emphasising the value of hard work and just reward. CS Machogu and his team must step up surveillance to protect the sanctity of exams.