Kenya to jail students 10 years for cheating in exams
The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has announced tough measures that includes a 10 year jail term for exam cheats ahead of national examinations in November.
The guidelines for the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) and the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) imposes up to Sh2 million fines for those found culpable.
“Any person who gains access to examination material and knowingly reveals the contents, whether orally or in writing, to an unauthorized party, whether a candidate or not, will be in violation of Section 27 of the Act and the penalty will be imprisonment for a term not exceeding ten years, or a fine not exceeding two million shillings or both,” the guidelines state.
In a statement, the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) Acting CEO Mercy Karogo urged candidates to ensure that their conduct is above board during the examinations period to avoid results cancellation.
“A candidate who commits an examination irregularity in any paper will have the results for the whole subject cancelled. Such a candidate will not be entitled to a result and will be awarded result “Y” overall. If there is evidence of wide-spread irregularities in any examination centre, the examination results for the whole centre will be cancelled,” she warned.
The guidelines further explain that anyone who impersonates legitimate candidates will face a two-year jail term or fined Sh2 million, or face both penalties while those who damage exam material will be fined Sh5 million or 5 years in jail.
“Any person who willfully and maliciously damages examination material will be in violation of Section 30 of the Act and the penalty will be imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years or a fine not exceeding Sh5 million or both,” the statement said.
Anyone found impersonating to sit for the examinations will be in violation of Section 31 of the Act, and shall be guilty of an offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years or a fine not exceeding two million shillings or both.”
The tough measures come as part of the broader reforms in KNEC aimed at restoring credibility of the national examinations which has been dented in recent years.
Part of the measures announced by Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matting’s to detect cheating was that KNEC would appoint school principals and head teachers to be in charge of their examination centres, a move strongly opposed by the teachers union KNUT.