A study of KCSE malpractices among boys and girls in mixed public secondary schools in South Gucha District, Kenya
Onguti, Robert O
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This study was intended to establish examination malpractices in the Kenya Certificate of secondary Examination (KCSE) among boys and girls in their final year in secondary schools. It sought to identify the reasons behind examination malpractices among boys and girls, modalities effected by examination officials and whether the measures were sufficient to curb cheating attempts in KCSE. The challenges directly related to the examinations in secondary schools in Kenya have not been fully investigated, systematically documented and addressed. The target population was one district examination officer, 17 secondary school examination teachers, 20 supervisors and 40 invigilators for 2010 KCSE. The study tried to achieve various specific objectives; what are the reasons for cheating in examination? What are the different cheating attempts made by boys and girls in KCSE? Which are the school related factors that abet cheating in KCSE and which modalities are put in place to curb KCSE cheating? In the background of the study, a number of schools were featured as having cheated in KCSE and sunk into hopelessness. The background also outlined the importance of examination in any educational system world wide. This study was thought to be crucial to KNEC to enable it streamline supervision and invigilation of KCSE. It was also though that it could assist secondary schools teachers in-charge of examinations to nurture good examination habits in students alongside helping to remove the fear brought by cancellation of examination results on parents, students and teachers. The data which was collected from the supervisors, invigilators, teachers in-charge of examination and one district examination officer was studied and analysed. The study findings showed that 20 percent of both the girls and boys cheated due to pressure from the parents and teachers. This was followed closely by assistance from teachers and the use of mobile phones which stood at 15 percent each. Out of the responses, no sex cheating differences were noted. The study also found out that girls' performance in mathematics was very poor and was an issue requiring urgent intervention by the Ministry of Education. The appointment of examination officials was unfair at all levels whereby men dominated the exercise of supervision and invigilation. Finally, the study recommended for seminars on good examination habits. further called for a way of tracking down correspondences through phones during examinations maybe by involving the mobile phone providers / industries. The research findings requested for an investigation into the factors leading to girls' poor performance in mathematics and a . replication of the same study in an urban setting to get a balanced view of the KCSE examination malpractices among boys and girls in Kenya.