The revelation that cheating in national examination is the principal reason behind the present spate of destruction in our secondary schools paints a very bleak future for the Kenyan youth. We may choose to live in denial but after last year’s examination debacle, the Kenya National Examination council (KNEC) lost its credibility and the present unrest is doing the institution’s name no good. The first casualty will be the authenticity and quality of KNEC certificates and their acceptance by other institution and employers both locally and abroad.
Blaming the current riots in schools on illicit drugs and poor parenting is akin to immaculately dressing a festering wound. Granted, these two factors together with erratic communication between students and their teachers outside the classroom are symptoms of a dysfunctional system. Well, the Minister for education has not disappointed either by jumping to such cosmetic measures like banning DVDs and music from school buses. But again you don’t expect the good minister to prescribe a noose for his own neck after renewing KNEC CEO’s tenure oblivious of the examination fiasco characterized by historic TOP UPS.
If you thought Kimunya’s head rolled because he lied on camera think again. Amos was only unfortunate to have not spiced his untruths with enough bravado and impunity. He should have consulted Minister Ongeri who denied any cheating in last year’s KCSE neither recourse to mock results despite the emerging facts that dead and sick students who never sat their exams have results similar to their mock outcome.
Impunity and self-deception
Despite media highlighting exam frauds every year the ministry and her dinosaur PS have been on a mission to destroy a whole generation with their irresponsible acts of impunity and deception. Head teachers have confirmed large scale cheating in exams since 2005 and now the then form ones who are his year’s candidates cannot afford the pain of being subjected to rigorous assessment while they know cheaper way to examination success awaits them anyway. Give it to them, these students are smart and won’t risk jeopardizing guaranteed superlative performance by sitting mocks whose results will only expose their schemes. After last year’s use of mock exams to moderate fraudulent KCSE results you cannot fail to see and feel the students’ fears.
No commissions or task forces will help us address our corrupt culture that singularly and exclusively define our socio-political setup in Kenya. It may have started with Moi meddling in everything under the sun including hasty and unprofessional introduction of the 8-4-4 education system. But IMPUNITY and DECEPTION by the Kibaki regime has accelerated the decay so much so that nothing within our borders is sacrosanct any more. While Moi had his tentacles spread anywhere to have his presence felt, Kibaki has DELEGATED impunity and fraud to his cronies who milks the cow even after she has dropped dead.
Education has lost its pride amidst poor Kenyans as the only avenue to make a mark on individual and community lives. Primitive wealth accumulation is our singular obsession and the rich are busy buying exams for their kids. School heads have been threatened if they fail to facilitate cheating. Lack of focused leadership is our bane and our wrong education system focusing exclusively on academics is not spared this malady. Until such a time that we stop electing leeches for leaders and impunity and deception are banished from national psyche, we are unwittingly hurtling towards self destruction.