Amid Controversy, Education Minister Asserts Integrity of Kenya’s National Exams

by | Apr 14, 2023 | Education, News | 0 comments

Yesterday, Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu shared further details about the 2022 Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination results, defending his ministry against widespread allegations of cheating. Machogu maintained that the students’ results were genuine and that the exam’s credibility remained intact.

According to Infohub Kenya, Machogu stated, “What our students got was the real grade. The propaganda is unfounded. The examination was credible; integrity was not compromised.” He made these comments while appearing before the National Assembly Education and Research Committee, which is investigating claims of widespread cheating in the exams.

The probe was initiated after the release of the KCSE results prompted public outcry. Nyambaria High School unexpectedly ranked first with a mean score of 10.90, outperforming traditional top scorers. Mang’u High School produced the most A grades with 82, while Nyambaria had 28 students achieving the top mark.

Machogu challenged the MPs to provide concrete evidence of cheating and emphasized that the allegations were baseless. Committee chair Julius Melly mentioned that some evidence would be presented privately at a later date.

Marakwet West MP Timothy Kipchumba accused Machogu of being defensive rather than addressing the concerns raised. Kipchumba challenged Machogu to accept responsibility if the Kenya National Examinations Council (Knec) were found guilty of wrongdoing.

While Machogu acknowledged several reported irregularities, he insisted they did not warrant the cancellation of results. During the exams, there were 20 suspected cases of collusion, 14 instances of attempted mobile phone usage, and three cases of impersonation. The committee has held public hearings to collect evidence of irregularities and will review the Ministry of Education’s presentation before drafting a report.

Machogu also addressed allegations that certain schools in Nyamira and Kisii counties had been unfairly targeted. He explained that these counties had the lowest number of A grades in the Nyanza region, with Siaya County leading the region in top marks.

Knec CEO David Njeng’ere dismissed claims that some students had access to marking schemes in advance, asserting that examiners prepare the documents only after candidates have completed the exams. Njeng’ere also noted that moderation of exam results is conducted according to international standards, in response to concerns raised by Mandera South MP Abdul Ebrahim about the lack of top grades in Wajir since Kenya’s independence.

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