Cheating in this year’s national examination will be a serious offense that will attract a jail five years jail term or a fine of Sh5 million.
This was made possible after the President Uhuru Kenyatta Friday assented to the National Examination Council (Amendment) Bill, 2016 introducing these munity measures proposed by the Ministry of Education to guarantee the veracity of the national examination process.
The bill, was among eight signed into law even as the President declined to assent to one on refugees. The new law will take effect before the start of the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in October following public outcry of examination irregularities in the past leading to arrest and cancellation of results.
It will no longer be a ‘juicy affair ‘to leak exams or schools to collude with unsuspecting people at KNEC to steal exams.
“The offence shall attract a penalty of a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding five Sh5 million shillings or both,” stated the President.
He continued, “It creates an offence against a member, officer, agent or staff of the Council whose omission or commission leads to an examination irregularity.”
The National Examinations Appeals Tribunal was also established to consider all appeals made against a decision of the Council to withhold, nullify or cancel examinations prepared and administered by the Council.
The means that aggrieved students or parents will not necessarily move to court to seek redress but petition the Tribunal. The new law will not spare the council officials found complicit in the matter.
According to the President, the law will to ensure integrity of the national examinations and the education system in Kenya. The 2015 KCSE exams had the highest ever recorded number of cheats who were found out at 5,101 candidates compared to 2,975 in 2014, a 70 percent increase.
In the same year, 171 people were arrested and charged in connection with the cheating, 34 of whom are teachers and two officers nabbed in Kilifi for allegedly leaking the examination papers.
Education CS Fred Matiang’i apologized after this fiasco and vowed to root out the culprits. He come up with tough rules to curb cheating and the new law will indeed act as a deterrent.
In 2016, the performance in both Secondary and Primary nationals examinations was a dismal, as some results were cancelled over exam irregularities.
Other bills also signed into law include The Parliamentary Powers and Privileges Bill 2014, The Occupational Therapists (Training, Registration and Licensing) Bill 2016, The Kenya Trade Remedies Bill 2017, The Nairobi International Financial Centre Bill 2017, The President’s Award Bill 2017 and The Companies Amendment Bill 2017.
– The Standard