The number of students caught cheating in the 2021 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination rose by 154 from the previous year.
Unlike last year when President Uhuru Kenyatta gave an amnesty to cheats, Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha on Saturday said “there would be no mercy” on those who broke the rules this time.
“Results of the 441 cases have been cancelled,” Prof Magoha said, adding that cheats must be dealt with decisively according to Kenya National Examinations Council rules and the country’s laws.
The cases of cheating increased from 287 in 2020 to 441.The minister added that the results of “a very big school” have been withheld, pending investigations.
Some 221 cases involved the use of unauthorised materials; 45 involved mobile phones; one was impersonation and 29 involved collusion. There was a case of disturbance in the exam room “where a student almost beat a headteacher”.
Prof Magoha said while the government heightened vigilance during the tests, some candidates still found ways of cutting corners.
“Ahead of the 2021 KCSE tests, the government heightened measures meant to stop any form of cheating,” he said during the release of the results in Nairobi on Saturday.
“The result of this enhanced vigilance was that nearly all the cases of cheating that would have occurred were prevented.”
He added that many mobile phones that would have been used to relay exposed examination materials were seized.
“However, there were 441 cases reported in the 2021 KCSE examination. One centre has all the results withheld,” Prof Magoha said.
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As he released the results in April last year, the Cabinet Secretary said those to be punished would be adults who facilitated the cheating.
“The President said we shall release the results of all candidates but staffers who allowed this to happen shall be severely punished,” he said.
“As you can see, the President is magnanimous with the children. Ours is to obey his directives.”