The prevalence of exam cheating in Kenyan institutions of learning at all levels is evidently wide to an extent some key stakeholders would describe as uncontrollable.
Over the past decade, many cases of exam irregularities have been reported in many institutions around the country and thousands of students have been confronted for the vice.
However, these reported cases only account for less than 10 percent of all cases which shows just how big an issue it is.
In a recent interview, Zipporah Kayuma, an international student in MKU expressed the shock she got when she came to pursue her higher education in Kenya.
“In my country, cheating is very rare. Since childhood, we have been nurtured to do our exams credibly hence everybody studies knowing they will reap what they sow, but in Kenya, students steal exams like routine, and even more surprising, the invigilators care less.”Zipporah
Society claims that education is the most important instrument for building successful nations. If this education is corrupted by dishonesty and stealing then instead on building a society founded on credible efforts, we develop one with a culture deeply engraved with stealing.
That’s why we have rampant corruption as the biggest challenge facing our country. If a youngster gets what he doesn’t deserve, on a silver platter, what would make him work hard to earn anything as an adult? Stealing will always be their route of success.
So what exactly should be done?
Abel Ombaso Kengere, the Minister of Academic Affairs at MKU, argues
“Cheating is a menace and it must be treated with the seriousness it deserves. First, educating the masses on the effects of cheating would be very instrumental in changing their perceptions.
Forums of awareness such as Examination Sanity in MKU have been implemented to expose the vices of cheating to students and discourage its practicing.
Secondly, strict rules should be put into place and notices of reminder posted in every corner of the institutions to psychologically prepare students to face penalties in case of cheating. “
With the presence of an objective Cabinet Secretary of Education Fred Matiang’i, there seems to be light at the end of the tunnel.
The CS has recently made strict reforms targeting at improving the quality of Kenyan education and made public statements promising to restore the sanity of Kenyan academics.
He might soon start making appearances in universities to discuss the issue as per Abel Ombaso.