- Wasanga denies making phone calls to school heads to alter examination results, blames fraudsters
- National Assembly’s Education, Research and Technology Committee grills examinations CEO over results
The mobile phone line of the national exams boss was used to call school heads offering to alter KCSE results in exchange for money.
Kenya National Examinations Council Chief Executive Officer Paul Wasanga denied making the calls, saying they must have been made by fraudsters.
The allegations could be a blow to the integrity of the council and the just-released Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education results.
On Tuesday, Mr Wasanga told the National Assembly’s Education, Research and Technology committee that only con men could have made the calls seen as coming from his personal cell phone number.
Speaking to the Daily Nation by phone later, Mr Wasanga said the con men registered the sim cards as “Wasanga knec”.
The calls were made only a few days to the release of the results by people who identified themselves as exam markers or Knec officials.
MPs claimed that those who received the calls said the callers appeared to have knowledge of exam results. In some cases they threatened to change the results for schools whose headmasters failed to cooperate.
“I was informed that markers were calling schools to demand money and my number was being used. People collected a lot of money and I am even informed that one principal parted with money,” he told the committee.
Mr Wasanga made the revelation after Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo claimed the principal of Sawagongo High School had received calls from the Knec CEO’s number four days prior to the release of the results.
He claimed the principal was informed that the school had attained a mean score of 10.4 but that the same would be reduced to 9.6 if money was not sent. The school also had several Ys in the Business Studies paper where collusion was cited as the reason.
The claims come in the wake of concern over omission of some schools in the exam ranking due to cheating. In all, the council has released the names of 36 national and county schools whose results were cancelled due to irregularities.
The fate of Maranda High School, which was dropped from the ranking for the same reason, has drawn complaints from some MPs.
Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura claimed the school was among those called four days before the release of the results by people claiming to be able to alter results.
Several MPs who spoke at Tuesday’s meeting claimed callers asked for money and threatened to distort the results if they were not paid.
Wajir South MP Abdullahi Diriye claimed some students, whose results were cancelled over cheating, had confessed that officers from the exams council sold them the papers.
The exams boss was emphatic that no Knec officer was involved and that it was all the work of con men.
“We have never received evidence that Knec officers are involved,” he said. “It is very easy to apportion blame but don’t accuse wholesale, if there is any evidence that Knec officials were culpable then let it be furnished to us.”
Cellphone numbers of all Knec staff are registered by the council’s human resource department, he said. “If anyone buys a new number at Knec, it must be registered,” he said.
Awendo MP Jared Opiyo, Malava MP Malulu Injendi, Aldai MP Cornelly Serem, Kisumu Central MP Ken Obura, Elgeyo Marakwet MP Dr Susan Chebet blamed Knec and suggested that the institution be comprehensively audited.
In a session chaired by Committee vice-chairperson Julius Melly, the MPs demanded that Knec takes responsibility, arguing that students were being punished unfairly as they were victims of loopholes in the exam system.
“There are people in your office selling examinations. You must crack the whip in your office because it starts there,” said Belgut MP Eric Keter.