Kenyan authorities have apprehended six administrators of Telegram groups allegedly involved in orchestrating malpractices during the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Examination. This incident sheds light on the rampant issue of exam malpractice in Kenya and the determination of law enforcement to combat it.
The culprits, often operating under aliases like “Professor” and “Mr. Examiner,” were the masterminds behind some of the most prominent Telegram groups, one of them known as “Teacher’s Updates,” boasting a substantial following of over 18,000 people. These groups served as hubs for sharing, selling, and posting examination materials, blatantly violating the KNEC Act and regulations.
The crackdown involved a coordinated effort from the police, Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) officers, and officers from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), in collaboration with telecommunications service providers. The Kenyan National Examinations Council (KNEC) monitoring team identified over 32 social media platforms used for these illicit activities.
It’s worth noting that in October, CAK had already identified 32 suspicious Telegram platforms, with 30 of them actively engaging more than 193,000 parents and students. However, the tide began to turn when the first suspect, known as “Mr. Examiner,” was apprehended. This resulted in more than 60,000 members exiting various groups, significantly reducing the active participation to 130,000 members.
The first suspect, “Mr. Examiner,” was a CRE teacher at a private school in Kiambu County, which further highlights the fact that even educators were involved in these nefarious activities. Subsequently, six more administrators were arrested in November for their alleged involvement in sharing, selling, and posting examination materials on various Telegram groups.
Notably, one of the arrested admins, popularly known as “Professor,” operated the Teacher’s Updates group with a substantial following. Within this group, he reassured teachers, parents, and students that they were there to provide unwavering support.
Apart from the administrators, two students from Thika Medical School, aged 19 and 20, were also arrested in connection to the malpractice. Additionally, a 20-year-old admin was netted while seeking customer care services at a Safaricom shop after her Telegram account was suspended.
The arrested individuals now face a multitude of charges, including the publication of false information. The DCI has issued a stern warning to young people who may consider engaging in such fraudulent practices, emphasizing that there are no shortcuts to riches or greatness outside legitimate ventures.
The crackdown on these Telegram admins signifies a growing commitment to preserving the integrity of Kenya’s education system. It serves as a warning to those who might have contemplated similar actions that the authorities are vigilant and ready to take decisive action against any threat to the nation’s educational standards. It is a significant step towards restoring trust in the examination process and ensuring that students’ hard work is not undermined by dishonest practices.