Kenyan exam board bosses arrested over university entry ‘fraud’

Education minister says senior managers at Kenya National Examinations Council implicated in ‘unprecedented cheating’

March 29, 2016
Cheating on a test

The Kenyan government has dissolved the country’s national examinations board and ordered the arrest of its leaders after they were blamed for widespread cheating in university entrance tests.

Fred Matiang’i, the education minister, said that senior managers at the Kenya National Examinations Council had been implicated in “unprecedented cheating” in this year’s exams.

Half a million school-leavers sit the assessments annually, and last year 5,101 students had their results cancelled because of misconduct, but the real level of wrongdoing is thought to be much higher.

Question papers have been shared on the WhatsApp messaging service before exams, and texts of questions have been sold for 1,000 Kenyan shillings (£7) each, The Nation reported.

Joseph Nkaissery, Kenya’s internal security minister, said that he had ordered the arrest of Joseph Kivulu, the examinations council’s chief executive, and eight other senior officers, according to The Nation.

Kilemi Mwiria, an adviser on education to Uhuru Kenyatta, the Kenyan president, said that a society in which “we glorify thieves” produced young people who “will do anything to make it”.

“Everybody steals from the other one – the pastors are stealing from their flock, the policemen are stealing from everybody else…and that is what the young people see and everybody seems to believe you have to cheat to succeed,” he said in a television interview, according to the Associated Press.

George Magoha, the former vice-chancellor of the University of Nairobi, has been appointed the new chairman of the examinations board in a bid to restore the reputation of the entry tests.

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