Determinants of examination irregularities in Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examinations in secondary schools in Nyakach District, Kenya
Ochola, Jacob O
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The purpose of the study was to determine the determinants of KCSE irregularities in Nyakach district secondary schools. Six questions were formulated to guide the study based on the objectives and research questions of the study. They included leadership styles, competition and school ranking, school type and technology. The study sought to establish how these factors influence candidate's behaviour and cause irregularities. The review of literature focused on the origin and roles of public examinations and examination malpractices globally, in Kenya and \ Nyakach district. The study employed a descriptive survey design. A questionnaire was administered to headteachers of schools to explore a wide range of school and candidates factors contributing to examination irregularities. A document checklist was used to collect data presumed to be classified from the DEOs archives. These included schools affected and nature of irregularities. Findings from the study revealed that school factors such as leadership styles adopted, ranking of schools by the media whenever KCSE results are released, and mobile phones at 38 percent are among the factors affecting the management of KCSE examinations and subsequently contribute significantly to irregularities cases in Kenya. School type in terms of gender was discussed to seek the role it played on candidate's performance. The study sought to establish the most appropriate measures used in schools to curb cheating in school exams. Punishment at 40 percent was the most sought after method. However, retesting and expulsion of candidates were not used. Deterrent control measures put in place by KNEC to discourage cheating includes cancellation of candidate's work (60%), disciplining of teachers seconded by Teachers Service Commission as examination officials ·(30010) and proposed two year ban (20%) has greatly reduced cheating cases in Nyakach district. The study recommended that to reduce that to reduce cut throat competition and maintenance of status quo attitude, school examinations be recognized by examining body for awarding of the candidate final grade to make those tests meaningful to students. Awarding certificates indicating nature of exam malpractice is important to discourage perpetrators. As a point of further interest, research should be undertaken to establish whether KNEC personnel, teachers, school leadership and candidate's attitude could also be responsible for cases of examination irregularities in schools. People handling examination material of any kind, be trained on integrity and examination ethics so that the standards of our examination and quality of the education system are safeguarded.