Raila wants task force established to investigate national exam irregularities

By , K24 Digital
On Wed, 6 Dec, 2023 14:48 | 2 mins read
Raila wants task force established to investigate national exam cheating
Azimio la Umoja - One Kenya coalition leader Raila Odinga during a past function. PHOTO/Raila Odinga(@RailaOdinga)/X

Azimio la Umoja-One Kenya coalition party leader Raila Odinga has called for the creation of a new government task force to focus on irregularities that continue to mar national examinations despite robust management strategies.

Speaking at a press conference in Nairobi on Wednesday, December 6, 2023, the ODM leader called out the government noting that compromising the credibility of academic certification will be perilous to the country.

Raila says exam malpractices erode the confidence in the qualification that comes with it and the practice will be unfavourable for Kenya in the job market even on the global stage. 

"We will be subjecting our children to ridicule, diminish their employment especially oversee if we allow the integrity of our exams and certification to be questionable. The education sector does not belong to the government of the day. It belongs to all Kenyans. For the sake of our children, the government should do better," Raila Odinga stated.

Raila said, for instance, in the Kenya Certificate of Primary Education (KCPE) examination results released on Thursday, November 23, 2023, by Education Cabinet Secretary Ezekiel Machogu, the government compromised the process in the initial stages of printing of exam papers.

According to Raila, the government cancelled the contract given to a United Kingdom-based firm in favour of a Mombasa Road-based firm after failure to bribe the government.

"We've established that early this year the government abruptly stopped this contract because the UK company refused to give kickbacks. Without following any legal process, the KK awarded the KCPE contract to a politically connected local company based in Mombasa Road in Nairobi," he said.

"The government was advised that the local company could not print the exams and ensure its security, especially on short notice. Nobody would budge because there were kickbacks involved."

The Azimio leader claimed that the Mombasa Road-based firm was forced to outsource from a company based in India for the exam papers to be printed in a hurry to meet the deadlines.

"We are also aware that the UK firm declined to provide codes to the many layers of security that had been encrypted to safeguard the integrity of national exams. We believe this process is responsible for the disaster witnessed in the KCPE results," Raila claimed.

Further, he said the contract for relaying results to the public was awarded to another company on short notice, hence jeopardising the entire process.

According to the opposition leader, the local firm could not provide the services causing delays and errors witnessed after the release of the exams.

"Grades in science, social studies, and religious studies were truncated. The rollout saw KCPE candidates get graded in subjects they never sat for. The system deployed could not produce the plus and minus signs; what a shame," Raila stated.

Adding;

"We have written to 13 key education stakeholders including religious organizations and DCI for a partnership to secure and defend the integrity of Kenyan national exams."

This year, a total of 1.4 million students took the KCPE exams, marking the final cohort of Class Eight pupils to undertake the examination under the 8-4-4 system.

39 cohorts have sat these exams since inception in 1985, with two major reviews being made on the assessment tests used.

 

Related Topics