Cheating by Technology in National Examinations-Kenya

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In my practice as a supervisor in the Kenya National Examination Council (2007) Secondary Examination briefing on conduct and ways of curbing exam cheating, I rose to ask the participants made of among others, quality Assurance and Standards officers, supervisors, invigilators, security officers and the District Education office personnel, whether other than the common use of the SMS to transmit messages as a source of cheating, how much do they know about blue tooth gadget? The response left a lot to be desired as virtually less than 5% of the participants had a vague idea of what this is and its capability in being used in exam cheating. This is just but a technological issue on exam cheating. According to the research done by Synovate, under its research club of Kenya project observed; “…students want the 8-4-4 system urgently reviewed….most high school students feel that the subjects taught are irrelevant and there is too much emphasis on exams.”(Daily Nation 9th, October 2009:8). According to website posting on August 20th 2009 on a report titled “one third of the teens use cell phones to cheat in school -on education: “… forget passing handwritten notes underneath desks or inking your arm with essential maths formulae before a killer test. If a student today wants to cheat, they have a more insidious tool at their disposal. Cell -phone. More than one third of teens admit using cell phones to store information on them to look at during a test or texting friends about answers.” The cell phone which comes in many shapes and function-ability seem to pose the greatest threat to examination honesty. Given the way the young stars are even more conversant with their ability than the teachers. Statistics from the same web site indicates: …student who admit cheating with cell phones are: 26 percent say they store information on their phone to look at during the test, 25 percent text friends about answers during a test, 17 percent take pictures of the test to send to friends and 20 percent search the internet for answers during a test using their phones….Over half of the student poled, 52% admitted to some form of cheating using the internet. Further a field; the Asia times online on an article titled cheats go Hi-tech, reads. “The spies were not trying to steal state secrets, they were students using cutting edge spy ware to cheat in make or break national-college entrance examinations” typical of the KCSE in Kenya. The emphasis put on examination by most countries and the limited chances in university placement and the urge to compete among schools has put pressure not only on the students but also teachers and parents to find ways of passing the examination. According to Anthony Kitima daily nation (Nairobi) October 1st 2009 pg 5,”…the current system of education only trains’ learners to pass examination…Government should also establish a National University to tap and nature non-academic abilities and serve as an incubator of innovation.” talents like football, music, athletics should not be sacrificed at the expense of examination oriented curriculum.

These are signs of the level of vigilance and awareness, our examination administrators need to be well conversant with I.C.T jargons and capabilities ahead of the learners; with the price and access to mobile phones by students reducing and increasing respectively, things are bound to get uglier. In another article entitled “police crack hi-tech…. “Retrieved from =2, August 20th 2009 at 10:30 p.m. States; … a middle school teacher and several college students who were suspected to be involved in the elaborate stunt, where student use sensors hidden in their mouth to receive exam answers, have been arrested and charged with stealing state secrets…. Copying, lifting or cribling someone’s intellectual work is plagiarism. It has been around since the beginning of organized...
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