Kisii professionals defend KCSE results, CS Machogu amid cheating claims
Professionals hailing from Kisii and Nyamira counties have come out to defend Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu and the credibility of exam results from the region amid allegations of irregularities in the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education examinations (KCSE).
This comes after an analysis of mean scores showed that the Gusii region stole the limelight in Nyanza after a number of its schools featured in the top 100 positions nationally, catching the attention of many Kenyans.
Schools from Gusii region that have been in the doldrums for years posted improved performance to stake their claim as the new academic giants. For instance, in Nyambaria High School, 28 candidates scored As in 2022 compared to just four in 2021. However, the change in fortunes has set tongues wagging.
But speaking during a breakfast meeting held in Nairobi yesterday, the region’s professional community dismissed allegations of cheating as idle talk and accused those driving the narrative of malice.
Led by former Kisii County Deputy Governor Joash Maangi, they reckon the administration and results of last year's KCSE exams met ethical standards.
"The exemplary results we have seen from Gusii and the larger Nyanza region in last year's KCSE was as a result of sound preparation and heavy investment in the sector over the years. We should not be targeted as a community when our children excel," said Mr Maangi, one of the conveners who also chaired the forum.
Result of hardwork
The professionals from public and private sectors said the excellent performance in Kisii and Nyamira is due to teachers and students’ hard work.
"I can confirm that Nyambaria High School which topped nationally and other schools from Gusii have been performing well for many years. The criticism against CS Machogu is therefore petty and uncalled for," said Mr Walter Nyambati, the newly appointed chairman of Geothermal Development Corporation (GDC).
The professionals also thanked President William Ruto for appointing CS Machogu to the key Ministry.
"As a community, we will support him because he has what it takes to streamline the entire education sector," said Mr John Simba, the Board Chairman of Sanlam Kenya and Bamburi Cement.
Other professionals who were in attendance included Kisii University Vice Chancellor Prof John Akama, Egerton University Vice Chancellor Prof Isaac Kebwage and Dedan University Council Chair Dr Jane Nyakang'o.
The lobby appealed to the Kenya Kwanza Kwanza government to initiate more development projects in Kisii and Nyamira counties in the spirit of the bottom-up economic model.
The Senate Education Committee is probing allegations of exam cheating after it emerged that some schools had recorded an unusual high number of candidates posting A grades.
According to the Senate Education Committee Chairperson Joseph Nyutu, his team is investigating concerns raised after some schools recorded a sudden spike in the number of high grades.
CS Machogu recently refuted claims of cheating while rubbishing allegations that exams may have been leaked in favour of certain schools in Nyanza.
The CS said Gusii region was unfairly singled out yet some counties had posted far better grades. He noted that the current ban on ranking of schools discouraged the release of a comprehensive breakdown of results from the country’s institutions.