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Steps to curb exam cheating bearing fruit

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By BRIAN OCHARO
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The Teachers Service Commission (TSC) says it has initiated disciplinary action against 26 teachers who engaged in irregularities during the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) exams in October.

Chief Executive Officer Nancy Macharia said the commission supports the Ministry of Education’s efforts to eradicate cheating in national exams, and the teachers will be punished for frustrating the ministry’s efforts.

And releasing the results of this year’s exams in Mombasa, Education CS Amina Mohamed said the tough measures introduced to curb irregularities have seen performance improve.

“The performance, which was low in 2016, has started rising, a clear indicator that teachers are now seriously focused on their work, and that candidates also work hard in class, knowing that only hard work will count and not occasional cheating that had become common in some centres,” she said.

Ms Mohamed said this year’s performance is better than the last two years’, with the top two candidates nationally scoring 453 marks.

“I am happy to note that the number of students who have scored 400 marks and above in 2018 has shot up significantly, a clear indicator that the number of quality grades is increasing,” she said.

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The CS said more than 50 per cent of the candidates scored 250 marks and above.

“Most of the would-be cases of cheating were prevented. However, during the monitoring, our vigilant team discovered four cases of impersonation.

The results of the candidates involved will be cancelled. However, they will be allowed to sit for the exams next year,” she said. “We have kept learning and improving our systems to seal all possible loopholes to improve this system to ensure we are not exploited by cheating cartels. As a result, this years’ KCPE was conducted on one of the most level playing fields ever. We have completely wiped out exam irregularities,” she said, a view also expressed by Knec boss George Magoha.

“The ministry continues to implement deliberate interventions to enable children with special needs to excel in learning, in line with President Uhuru Kenyatta’s commitment to give them quality education,” she noted.

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