The national exams in Kenya have kicked off under ‘tight security’ as the authorities would call it and it is tight security indeed.
The government, through the Ministry of Education, is said to have used more than two billion shillings just to make sure that the exams are secure and that the papers do not reach the candidates before the right time.
In an effort to ‘secure’ the exams, the government seems to have completely militarized the national exams in this country.
Examination centers now look like small police camps with hawk-eyed security personnel armed to the core and watching over the ‘small suspects’ in the name of candidates.
Cases of exam cheating in Kenya have been on the rise. The government has always remained in the dark of how the cheating occurs or who is the person facilitating the cheating. In the end, it is the candidates who have ended up suffering with their results being canceled while those who perpetuate the same are left to go free.
The government has been running up and down like headless chicken every time an exam season nears with armed police coupled with officials from the DCI. What the ministry doesn’t know is that exam cheating does not happen on the day of the exam. That is where they miss the point 100 percent.
In most schools in Kenya, truth be told, cheating in exams happens months before the actual examination. In some of these schools, students are exposed to examination materials, camouflaged at mocks and other exams months before KCPE or KCSE.
There are questions that the Ministry of Education has never been able to answer either out of ignorance or for lack of what to say because of confusion. For instance, how do some examination materials leak to some schools months before the actual exams? Do the exam materials fall from the sky and then miraculously happen to be the actual papers that will appear in actual exams?
Instead of militarizing the exams, the government should first focus on the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC). That is where the rot lies. There seem to be some rotten elements who take examination materials and sell them to schools and they are making a kill. Actually, there are schools in Kenya where parents contribute close to 20,000 shillings each month before the national exam so that their kids can have a look at the questions before the actual day.