The Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC) has been accused of recycling 60% of previous KCPE and KCSE tests.
According to Dr. Purity Ngina of the Zizi Afrique Foundation, KNEC must be held accountable for its role in Kenya’s exam malpractices over the years.
“When you go through the KCPE and KCSE examinations, you’ll realize that 60% of the questions are repeated from previous years,” she said.
Ngina notes that schools that make significant investments in in-depth analysis and memorization techniques may benefit from this practise.
“The schools that are able to invest in people who can do the analysis do that, and they can be assured that if you do this and this, you are likely to have your learners get over 60% of the marks.”
KNEC was represented at a recent conference held by assessment bodies in Africa, where the topic of recycling questions was discussed.
“In Kenya, it came out that the questions were being repeated, and others were even the same questions and even in the same positions,” Ngina revealed.
Schools that can afford to hire experts and analysts to spot trends will have an advantage because similar questions tend to arise again and again, but there is also a chance that similar answers will emerge.
“When this happens, it’s possible to think that they were given an exam, but they were just in a brilliant school that exposed them to the real questions, and they replicate the answers,” she said.
The examination body has been chastised by the research expert, who claims that there are times when the exams contain the same questions and even in the same positions.
“If it was the same question this year, you will find it two years later, the same question, same position…This is a failure to the people setting the exams, “she said.
KNEC has been slow to set higher-level thinking questions, and students may deceive the system into thinking they are exceptional when they have simply memorised answers to recycled questions.
“Some of the questions are something you can lift from the book, cram, and download; you don’t have a higher question that requires thinking, she said.
As the country prepares for the KCPE, Tinderet MP Julius Meli has asked the Kenya National Qualifications Authority (KNQA) to supervise the Kenya National Examinations Council (KNEC).
“Every year, we need to audit the exam process and have a report to see how the process went through. The exam must be audited yearly and have a report, “said.
Kenya’s exam season begins this week, with KCPE and Kenya Primary School Education Assessment (KPSEA) candidates scheduled to rehearse on October 27, 2023.
The tests for both levels will begin on October 30 and will last until November 1, 2023. The KCSE exams will begin on October 23, 2023, and end on November 24, 2023, according to KNEC.