What you need to know:
- Since the exam season began, there have been a number of arrests of people, including some candidates over cheating.
- What has been witnessed in the past few days is a worrying return to the sorry situation some years ago.
The credibility of our national examinations is at stake again, with increasing cases of cheating reported in the Standard Eight and Form Four tests.
The Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) and the Kenya Secondary Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) exams mark key transitions. They determine the development of youth from the lowest to the highest level in the training of manpower.
Since the exam season began, there have been a number of arrests of people, including a principal, teachers and invigilators, and some candidates over cheating. The vigilance must be sustained.
What has been witnessed in the past few days is a worrying return to the sorry situation some years ago, when cheating and other exam malpractices were quite rampant. These made a mockery of the very reason for having exams, which is assessing the abilities and talents of the candidates.
Interestingly, the man who played a key role in fighting cheating as the chairman of the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec), Prof George Magoha, is now the Education Cabinet Secretary. He is, therefore, quite familiar with the challenge at hand.
Integrity of exams
Today, like in the past, there has been a huge element of collusion between some crooked people, including police to undermine a key function in education.
Cheating has always been fuelled by stiff competition for the limited slots in the public secondary schools that guarantee the candidates' qualification and admission to universities.
This year, the cheats have reportedly taken advantage of new technology, such as WhatsApp and other communication systems to circulate fake test papers and con gullible students and their parents.
The cheats must never be tolerated. The integrity of exams must be jealously guarded to ensure that candidates get what they deserve to prevent the promotion of mediocrity. The time to stamp out examination malpractices is now.